Stab Magazine | Gabriel Medina Surfs A Near-Perfect Heat After His Round One Knee Injury
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Gabriel Medina Surfs A Near-Perfect Heat After His Round One Knee Injury

This is what Gabs looks like at “70 percent”? 

news // Mar 18, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

If this is what Gabriel Medina looks like at 70 percent, it’s going to take a lot to beat him in 2017. The former World Champ put on one of the great backhand displays at Snapper this morning, jamming an incredible 11 turns on his way to a 9.80 and a similar number for a backup 9.20. It amounted to the highest combined total of the event, despite suffering a serious knee injury in round one of the contest.

“It was very painful. I wasn’t sure if I could compete, but I arrive here this morning and the doctor did some strapping and it was okay,” he said.

According to Medina, the injury has reduced his ability to less than 3/4’s capacity though any pain he was feeling was no match for the euphoria of victory.

“I’m at about 70 percent. I’m really dissapointed because I was training so hard in the lead up. Australia has not been good for me and then I hurt my knee trying to do an aerial,” he said, adding:

“I feel it a little bit because it’s hard when you get hurt not to think about it but it’s all good. When I won it’s more than the pain.”

He was one of several goofy footers who dominated the morning heats. Owen Wright held of Mick Fanning in round three to continue his remarkable recovery from a serious brain injury while Australian rookie Connor O’Leary broke through for the biggest win of his World Tour career, downing event favourite Julian Wilson, also in round three.

“That was one of my highlights for sure. I mean I’ve been looking up to Julian, I went and watched Julian’s premiere when I was 15 at the Red Bull HQ, and I was like this guy’s nuts! To have a heat with him and sit in the water with him is a massive honour and I respect him to the fullest,” he said.

Elsewhere, Matt Wilkinson continued the goofy run with victory over Kolohe Andino and Adriano De Souza in the first heat of round four.

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