Gabriel Medina flies to Australia in search of two-time world
Focusing on the two-time world championship title, surfer Gabriel Medina has already flown to Australia, where he will make his debut in the first stages of 2017 Tour. The main goal is to acclimate into the timezone and gain more time to practice on Snapper Rocks´ waves, where the first stage is going to stand up.
At least, the expectation is to repeat 2014´s act, when he became the first Brazilian World Champion, starting with the victory in the initial stage, at the same Gold Coast. “I´m ready to make a good competition”, says the 23-year-old athlete.
“Our plan is to fix the mistakes made last year, improve what has been done and surfing well. I made a good physical prep and now we had a technical training for the rights in El Salvador. The expectation is to reach for the best”, Gabriel added, who has flown to the Central America country along with his father and coach, Charles Saldanha Rodrigues, his mother Simone and his two Brothers, Felipe and Sophia.
In Australia, Gabriel is going to attend a meeting promoted by Rip Curl, envolving other athletes of the brand, such as Mick Fanning, Matt Wilkinson and Conner Coffin, all them invited by the Marketing Global Director, Neil Young. “It´s good in order for they to get into the mood”, said the surfer, champion in 2014 and 3rd place in 2015 and last year.
For Charles Saldanha, who also flies to Australia to meet Gabriel in Gold Coast, the evaluation of the physical and technical prep is positive. “We´ve made a strong physical prep, already programmed, and the technique on the waves, we flew away to catch a good spot to practice the rights, aiming for Snapper. His back side is strong, fast, within what we´re expecting. A vertical surfing, strong and with speed, inside the standards”, he says.
According to him, Gabriel arrives as one of the favorites in the first stage, especially due to the fact that he´s very competitive. “I´m hopeful for a good start this season”, Charles commented, revealing the planning for Australia. “Our goal is to make a good score stage to stage to stand up in the first places. This is important, because after that there will be other contests in which he surfs better. Everything is very well prepared, boards, surfing, the psycological aspect of him. I can´t promise to become the first in the initial stage, but if he takes the leadership, it won´t be a surprise”, he announces.
But before the contest starts, Charles and Gabriel will have some days for the famous “stoned” during the trainings in Snapper. “Now we only have to wait, be calm”, he says. “When they spoke about the title, if he was ready, I said he was, because he´s been training for 12 years straight. The sport does not happen overnight, we´re just stoning, trying to improve, but Gabriel has been preparing himself for a few years to reach out to the position he got”, he argued.
The opening of the Tour, in Gold Coast, has the Windows for the days of March 14th and 25th. In the sequence, the Margaret River stage, from 29th to April 9th, and completing the Australian Leg, the contest of Bells Beach, from April 12th to 24th.
Photo: Mario Antonio Amaya Alfaro