Gabriel Medina (BRA), 19, 2013 Men’s ASP World Junior Champion.
JOAQUINA BEACH, Florianopolis/BRA (Saturday, November 2, 2013) - Gabriel Medina (BRA), 19, has claimed the 2013 ASP World Junior Title by winning the Men’s HD World Junior Championships presented by Devassa over Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR), 20, in a high-scoring Final at Joaquina Beach in Florianopolis, Brazil.
The ASP World Junior Championship Title has been won by some of surfing’s most iconic talent including the likes of reigning ASP World Champion Joel Parkinson (AUS), 32, Adriano de Souza (BRA), 26, Jordy Smith (ZAF), 26, and Andy Irons (HAW). In addition to the the prestigious crown, surfers who placed Top 4 at the HD World Junior Championships have earned a position in to the Round of 96 for all ASP Prime and 6-Star rated events for 2014, potentially fast-tracking their qualification campaigns towards the elite ASP World Championship Tour. Surfers finishing fifth through eighth have earned a guaranteed seed in to Round 1 of all ASP 6-Star events.
Medina would go on to dominate the final day of competition, posting the highest scores of each round, eventually peaking in the Final. The Brazilian goofy-footer would own the Final from start to finish, amassing the event’s highest single-wave score of a near-perfect 9.97 out of 10 for a massive backside air followed with a flurry of turns. Medina’s efforts would be combined with another excellent ride, securing a 18.26 out of 20 heat total and the coveted ASP World Junior Title.
“This feels really good,” Medina said. “I’m so happy to win this event and I’ve never had a World Title in the juniors. That was a great Final against Ramzi (Boukhiam). He’s a good friend of mine and he was surfing good all week. I just tried to do my thing in the Final, airs, turns, and I got two good scores. I’m going to prepare for Hawaii now and hopefully I can finish the year strong.”
Ramzi Boukhiam, who finished third in last year’s ASP World Junior Championships, went one step further this year, advancing to the final compliments of spectacular power-surfing. The Moroccan talent would fight hard in the Final, but was unable to put a stop to Medina, finishing runner-up.
“I was hoping Gabriel (Medina) wouldn’t do his big airs and I knew I’d need two 9s to beat him,” Boukhiam said. “Congrats to him and he surfed amazing. Thanks to everyone for the support and everyone back in Morocco. I want to thank my Dad, who is watching me from the sky, and my Mom and brother.”
Matt Banting (AUS), 19, was a standout throughout the entirety of the HD World Junior Championships, consistently posting high scores on his way to the Semifinals. The Australian was unable to trump Ramzi Boukhiam in the Semifinals and would finish equal 3rd overall.
“Before the heat, I was thinking it was going to be really slow and if I saw a two-turn wave to jump on it,” Banting said. “I had a couple decent ones, but just nothing like I’ve had the heats before. Ramzi (Boukhiam) got a couple with a lot more bowl and speed and I’m stoked for him. I’ve had two pretty solid results this year and sometimes when you don’t win it keeps you hungry. I’ve got one more year left in the Junior, so I hope to come back next year and try and win it.”
Hiroto Ohhara (JPN), 16, put together a historic run at the HD World Junior Championships, earning the highest result ever by a Japanese surfer at the ASP World Junior Championships. Ohhara was lightning-fast on both his forehand and backhand, but was unable to put a stop to a near-perfect performance by Gabriel Medina in the Semifinals.
“I’m just stoked,” Ohhara said. “It was good to get to surf with Gabriel (Medina) and I’m happy. It’s a big result and it’s been a good event for me. ”
Ohhara’s equal 3rd place finish represents a crucial result for the young natural-footer. The Japanese talent’s equal 3rd place finish will guarantee Ohhara a seed in to all ASP Prime events for 2014 and he’s hungry to launch a full international campaign.
“Getting this result is important because I’m in to the Primes now,” Ohhara said. “I’m ranked around 130 or something and I’d be close to getting in. Now I’ll be in to the Prime and 6-Star events. I’m so stoked. I plan on doing as many events as I can around the world.”