The finals of the Rio Pro saw some impressive performances from the stacked field. But the most convincing display of surfing came from the least seasoned competitor– rookie John John Florence, who won his first WCT final today at age 19.
As predicted earlier this month by the absent Kelly Slater, it was only a matter of time before Florence bagged his first contest victory. Now, having won in the heaviest of waves at the Volcom Pipeline Pro in January, and in the smallest of waves at Rio today Florence has proved himself in a range of conditions. And it appears that we’ve only seen the beginning of the two-John era.
With dominating performances throughout the day, which culminated in a flogging of Joel Parkinson in the final heat (16.37 to 11.44) John John was in disbelief as he was chaired up the beach: “I can’t even believe this right now, I’m in shock. I was sticking to my game plan. I’m so happy right now. I can’t even believe it… Coming here, I wasn’t expecting to win.”
Now sitting well inside the top 10, John John has not only taken a lead in the rookie of the year hunt, but has also tossed his hat in the ring for an outside shot at a late-season title campaign.
See more event photos here.
BILLABONG RIO PRO FINAL RESULTS:
1 – John John Florence (HAW) 16.37
2 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.44
BILLABONG RIO PRO SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.83 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.00
SF 2: John John Florence (HAW) 17.94 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.86
BILLABONG RIO PRO QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.90 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.60
QF 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.57 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 5.90
QF 3: John John Florence (HAW) 14.94 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 9.43
QF 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.84 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.27
CURRENT ASP WCT TOP 10 (After Billabong Rio Pro):
1. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 19700 pts
2. Mick Fanning (AUS) 18250 pts
3. Josh Kerr (AUS) 18200 pts
4. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 17200 pts
5. Taj Burrow (AUS) 15750 pts
6. John John Florence (HAW) 15750 pts
7. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15700 pts
8. Kelly Slater (USA) 13700 pts
9. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12250 pts
10. Owen Wright (AUS) 12150 pts