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Teen Jo Azuchi rides waves to Shonan Open victory


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.