Gabriel Medina could have won the World Title in Portugal on Saturday. Instead, Italo Ferreira beat him in the dying minutes of the first heat of the semis. Now, the title will be decided where everyone wanted it to be: at the Banzai Pipeline.
With 3:30 left on the clock, Ferreira was chasing a score of 7.57. He found a small runner, pumped down the line, and launched into a full rotation. It was clear that he’d get the score, and he did. Judges awarded him a 9.30, and Medina couldn’t find a wave that allowed him to gain back the lead.
Medina still holds the yellow jersey, but the title race is a close one. He has 56,190 points, and both Filipe Toledo and Julian Wilson have 51,450 points, just 4,740 points shy of the lead.