Teenager, Caroline Marks, from the United States has shot to the top of the World Surf League Championship Tour rankings. Marks won the first event of the season on Australia’s Gold Coast with the points she gained taking her to the top of the rankings.
The American recorded her first career victory by beating Hawaii’s Carissa Moore a three-time world champion – in the final. Marks had already accounted for seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore of Australia in the quarter-final.
Congrats Caroline Marks! 2019 Gold Coast Pro Winner pic.twitter.com/VzlcfleDcT
— Ana Lucia Lira (@AnaLuciaLira2) April 8, 2019
The youngest competitor on the world tour at 17, Marks beat Moore by 13-point-8-3 points to 11-point-6-7 in tricky conditions in the final to clinch the event. She became the first woman to benefit from the WSL’s new policy of equal prize money for men and women, winning around 840-thousand rand.
Congratulations Caroline Marks, 2019 #BoostMobilePro #GoldCoast Champion!
Youngest on Tour, first CT win, first final, first event of season, new @jeep leader & first woman to win the $100K purse. @BoostAus pic.twitter.com/ZHr2sLtJeg
— World Surf League (@wsl) April 8, 2019
Marks was rookie of the year last year after finishing seventh in the world series. “I don’t know what to say I am really emotional right now I can’t believe it,” said Marks.
Brazilian Italo Ferreira won the men’s event to continue his form from last year, when he won three trophies on the tour. Ferreira beat American Kolohe Andino in the final after getting past South African, Jordy Smith, in the semi-finals. The next stop on the tour is on the famous Bells Beach in Melbourne starting on April 17th. The season acts as a qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, where the sport will make its Olympic debut.
Tour rankings count for 18 of the 40 available places at the games.
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