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Gabriel Medina: This has been my best year

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-09-16 16:02
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Gabriel Medina of Brazil competes during the Rip Curl WSL Men's Finals at Lower Trestles on September 14, 2021 in San Clemente, California. [Photo/Agencies]

RIO DE JANEIRO - Gabriel Medina has described 2021 as the best year of his professional career after clinching a third World Surf League (WSL) championship with a stunning performance in the tour final.

The 27-year-old Brazilian eclipsed countryman Filipe Toledo in the best of three final format on Tuesday with a series of impressive aerial moves - including a full backflip - in clean conditions at Lower Trestles in Southern California.

"This has been my best year in terms of results," Medina told Brazil's O Globo newspaper on Wednesday. "I made some changes. I feel better prepared, physically and mentally. This was the year in which I felt most complete. I tried to make the most of the places we visited and live the present while not thinking about the past. That helped me to keep my feet on the ground."

Medina, who also won world titles in 2014 and 2018, reserved special praise for Australian Andy King, who replaced Charlie Rodrigues as his personal coach in April.

"Andy has helped me a lot," Medina said. "It was the first time [in my career] that I sought out a new coach. I feel good just being with him. He is a good guy, very positive. He understands a lot about surfing and has worked with Mick Fanning for a long time.

"He helped me with a lot of small details that I previously didn't pay much attention to, for example, in which part of the wave I should execute maneuvers. The more we trained, the more confidence I built up. As a result, in the end I was making very few mistakes while training. Nothing is achieved by chance.

"I think we will continue together next year, but we haven't sat down yet to talk about it. My plan is to continue with him."

Medina, who missed out on a medal at the Tokyo Olympics in July, described his latest triumph as the realization of a long-held dream to be a triple world champion.

"This is the reason why I surf. Your dreams don't come true every day. That's what motivated me. It has required years of dedication to get to where I have. It was a perfect day," he added. 

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