Portuguese Frederico Morais qualified for the World Cup semi-finals in Miyazaki, Japan, approaching Olympic qualifying on a day when compatriot Miguel Blanco was eliminated in the recaps.
Frederico Morais surpassed the third, fourth and fifth rounds, always with the best score of his heat, beating three top-10 athletes in the world ranking, the Brazilian Ítalo Ferreira (sixth), the Japanese Kanoa Igarashi (seventh) and the American Kelly Slater (10th).
‘Kikas’ is also the European surfer in the best position to win the Olympic qualification as the three remaining opponents – German Leon Glatzer, Spaniard Vicente Romero and Italian Angelo Bonomielli – have yet to play the recaps. at a great disadvantage compared to Portuguese.
The Worlds will allocate seats to the Tokyo2020 Olympic Games to the top four male surfers from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania, as the wave of the American continent was set at the Pan American and was won by Peru.
‘Kikas’ scored 10.53 points in the third round, beating Salvadoran Brian Perez, Indonesian Ketut Agos Aditya, and German Lenni Jensen, repeating the ‘dose’ in the fourth round, which won 10.83, beating Slater ( 9,34), 11 times world champion, and British Jay Quinn (8,56), double European champion.
In the fifth round, the Portuguese raised the bar, finishing with a score of 13.83, ahead of Italo Ferreira (13.7), Costa Rican Carlos Munoz (12.73) and Igarashi (7.53), which had the support of the Japanese public.
In the sixth round of semi-finals Frederico Morais will meet Slater – who finished second in the heat won by the Portuguese – and fellow best-ever surfer Kolohe Andino, world number three.
In the other semi-final, they will face world champion Gabriel Medina, Ítalo Ferreira and Moroccan Ramzi Boukhiam. The top two finishers in each heat will compete for the 2019 World Championships medals.
Miguel Blanco lost in the third round, finishing third in his heat with 9.53 points, behind Medina and the Indonesian Rio Waida, confirming the elimination in the recaps, which ended in the same place, with 11, 33, beaten by Peruvian Tomas Tudela and the Japanese Shun Murakami.