Medina turning attention to Tokyo Olympics

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Sao Paulo, Dec 23 (IANS) Gabriel Medina said he will turn his focus to qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after securing his second world surfing title.

The Brazilian surfer received a hero’s welcome in Sao Paulo on Saturday, having pipped Australian Julian Wilson to the championship in the season-ending Pipeline Masters in Hawai earlier in the week, Xinhua news agency reported.

“It (2019) is going to be a very important year for me, I want to give my 200 per cent,” the 25-year-old told reporters. “The Olympics are coming and I want to qualify to go to Japan.”

Under the Olympic qualifying system, the top 10 male surfers from 2019’s world tour will earn an automatic berth at the Tokyo Games, with a limit of two places for competitors from the same country.

Medina said he felt 2018 would be special from the outset, describing his second triumph in five years as a “dream come true”.

“I believed in myself from the beginning,” he said. “I felt different from the beginning. I was Brazil’s first surfing world champion (in 2014) and now I’ve done it again.”

–IANS

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