The King is back!
For all the asterisks surrounding Filipe Toledo’s world title, no John John, another failure at Teahupoo, Finals Day in two-foot waves thereby hobbling any chance Jackie Robinson would win, the most glaring might be the absence of three-time world champ Gabriel Medina.
Medina made a sensational return to the pro tour in 2022 following a six-month break for “emotional issues’ after splitting from wife Yasmin Brunet. He banked semi-final finishes at El Salvador and G-Land, but was forced to pull out of J-Bay with a tweaked knee.
Down but not out, as you’ll see.
Medina, who will be twenty-nine next month, proved his ability to turn a contest at a whim earlier today when he won the Corona Saquarema Pro, stealing a last-minute victory from the Moroccan surfer Ramzi Boukhiam.
The victory scuttled, at least for the time being, the Moroccan’s dream of qualifying for the Championship Tour.
Boukhiam, a tall splendid creature with dark and enormous eyes and flesh that ripples into bronze ridges, now has to turn up the volume at the Haleiwa event in a few weeks to make the cut.
“He’s (Boukhiam) such a great surfer,” Medina said after the final, sinking breathless into a divan, his body continuing to move in rhythm with his heart. “I hope he can make it to the tour, he deserves this. He’s one of the best to surf in a QS event and I can’t wait to see him on CT waves.”