WSL: Medina falls; Filipinho beats Italo and goes to the final in El Salvador with a wave of 9.70 | surfing

Griffin Colpinto avoided what would have been a 100% Brazilian final in the El Salvador leg of the World Surf League (WSL). In a very balanced and contested heat, the American overcame Gabriel Medina in the Punta Roca semifinals. On the other hand, Filipe Toledo also guaranteed a place in the decision with an unquestionable performance. The current leader of the world ranking surpassed Italo Ferreira with the best wave of the championship, 9.70, after a combo of two aerials.

+ Live: follow the stage in Punta Roca, El Salvador in real time

Filipe Toledo wsl el salvador — Photo: Thiago Diz/World Surf League)

The first semifinal required patience. After 15 minutes of waiting for the series input, the battery needed to be reset. With very difficult conditions, Griffin Colapinto took the initiative and found the best position. In a sequence of good five maneuvers attacking the lip of the wave, Griffin added 8.50. Medina managed to get out of the combo after a full rotation aerial rated at 5.50.

Griffin Colpinto scores 8.50 in the semifinals in El Salvador for the World Surfing Championship

Griffin Colpinto scores 8.50 in the semifinals in El Salvador for the World Surfing Championship

Under pressure, Gabriel Medina managed to get a good variation of maneuvers 10 minutes from the end of the heat. He connected after a good air hit and a floater valued at 7.67. Needing a 4.67 rating, Griffin turned with a 4.80 wave. The judges took a few minutes to release that last note, which came out when the heat had already ended.

Gabriel Medina scores 7.67 in the semifinal in El Salvador for the World Surfing Championship

Gabriel Medina scores 7.67 in the semifinal in El Salvador for the World Surfing Championship

Gabriel Medina with 2 seconds to go still caught a good wave, but he couldn’t come back from an aerial and change the 5.50 note. Griffin’s victory with a sum of 13.30, a few tenths ahead of the three-time world champion, who summed up 13.17. This was Medina’s first defeat to the American in seven heats already played between them.

Griffin Colpinto gets 4.80 and wins semifinal in El Salvador for the World Surfing Championship

Griffin Colpinto gets 4.80 and wins semifinal in El Salvador for the World Surfing Championship

After the drums, Gabriel Medina posted on social media the message “I already understand the message”. Surfing specialists were also uncomfortable with the result and the general evaluation of the heat by the judges. Not only because of the overvaluation of Griffin’s waves, but the subjugation of Gabriel’s 7.67 rating.

Even with the elimination, the three-time world champion still has chances of qualifying for the finals of the season that will be in September, in Trestles, with the five best surfers in the ranking. For that to happen, Gabriel needs to keep accumulating good results in the last three stages in Saquarema, Jeffreys Bay and Teahupo’o – preferably making at least semifinals in these events.

Gabriel needs to race against time because he didn’t score points in the first phase of the season when he was away due to personal problems. Emotionally recovered, he received an invitation from the WSL to participate in the second phase, which has only 24 surfers per stage. In his comeback event, in G-Land, Indonesia, he already reached the semifinals, where he was eliminated by Australian Jack Robinson.

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Owner of an incredible season, Filipinho had another mature and precise performance to overcome Italo Ferreira in the semifinals. With less than 10 minutes left in the heat, he managed to turn around and leave the Olympic champion in combination in what seemed “impossible” in the presented sea conditions. Filipe Toledo sent in a full rotation with good height and then another aerial to finish the wave. This unlikely combo was rated by the judges at 9.70, the highest score of the event so far.

Filipe Toledo scores 9.70 in the semifinal in El Salvador for the World Surfing Championship

Filipe Toledo scores 9.70 in the semifinal in El Salvador for the World Surfing Championship

Filipe scored 17.10 (9.70 + 7.40) against 13.20 (6.77 + 6.43) for Italo Ferreira. With this result, Toledo remains the leader of the world ranking and will wear the yellow lycra again in the next stage, which will be precisely at home. The stage in Brazil, in Saquarema, has the start of its window scheduled for next Thursday, June 23rd. In the last elite championship at Maracanã do surfing, Filipinho was champion in 2019.

– I’m stoked, one more final against Griffin. Difficult to pass by Italo, which was also surfing very well. In the end, I managed to find that good wave and I’m very happy – said Filipe.

In the women’s semifinals, Lakey Peterson easily overcame Johanne Defay. The American scored 12.70 (6.50 + 6.20) points against 9.67 (5.50 + 4.17) for the Frenchwoman. Peterson will face Australian Stephanie Gilmore in the Punta Roca decision, who overcame Caroline Marks. The seven-time world champion beat her opponent with a total of 14.50 (7.50 + 7.00) points, against 9.84 (6.17 + 3.67) for Marks.

About Abhishek Pratap

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