Teenager Jo Azuchi on Wednesday won the Shonan Open, a World Surf League men’s Qualifying Series event held at Kugenuma Beach in Kanagawa Prefecture.
Despite inconsistent conditions, the 17-year-old earned a two-wave total of 9.90 points in the final, 0.80 ahead of Jordan Lawler of Australia, to clinch his first QS victory and first on the senior circuit.
“This is such a confidence boost. The lip (of the wave) was ideal,” said Azuchi, winner of the under-16 division at the ISA World Junior Surfing Championship last October in Hyuga, Miyazaki Prefecture.
Surfing will make its Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games.