Mahina Maeda is still hanging on to the title she won last year Mahina Maeda is still hanging on to the title she won last year Photo: WSL

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Thursday, 07 January 2016 00:00


The World Junior Championships resumed on day 4 at Praia dos Pescadores. 



The Ericeira World Junior Championships resumed on Day 4 at the back-up location of Praia dos Pescadores in bumpy two-to-three foot surf and decided the last four women in contention for the ultimate junior crown.


Local favorite Teresa Bonvalot (PRT), 16, clinched the first ticket for the Semifinals and pleased the Ericeira crowds when she eliminated Tia Blanco (USA) this afternoon. Bonvalot snagged a good wave from under her opponent's priority and scored a 7.33 to take a firm lead on the 30-minute bout. With just minutes on the clock, the young goofyfooter put a final nail in Blanco's coffin with a near-excellent 7.93 and the win.

Reigning World Junior Champion Mahina Maeda (HAW), 17, got one step closer to defending her title and qualified for the Semifinal, where she'll meet Bonvalot in a rematch of last year's Quarterfinals. Maeda started with a bang and stayed very patient to find an excellent back-up. Despite a good effort at the halfway mark from Portuguese Camilla Kemp (PRT), Maeda stayed out of reach and won the exciting matchup.


In an extremely tense third Quarterfinal, Dax McGill (HAW), 17, built momentum on her first three waves, culminating with an excellent 8.43 to put her opponent under pressure. Unphased by the situation, Holly Wawn (AUS), 18, started on a good wave and performed three surgical turns for a near-perfect 9.50 that put her right back in the mix. Wawn went on to catch another couple of excellent waves to collect the event's highest combined heat total, an incredible 17.53 out of 20, and her spot in the second Semifinal.


In the final heat of the day, Isabella Nichols (AUS), 18, was off to a quick start and scored multiple good waves to take an early lead over Peru'sMelanie Giunta. The regional Australasian junior champion Nichols kept building her scoreboard and eventually came out victorious with the final spot in the coveted Semifinals.


Event officials and surfers will reconvene at 7:45 a.m. local time Friday for a probable re-start of the men's competition.

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