Siargao Island native John Mark Tokong, 18, claimed his first world qualifying series title Sunday over fellow Filipino and defending champion Piso Alcala at the dramatic finals of the 21st Siargao International Surfing Cup, as Cloud 9 delivered a mix of barreling waves and turn sections.
The 21st Siargao International Surfing Cup was sanctioned by the World Surfing League and the Asian Surfing Championships.
Spectators were privy to exciting battles through the quarterfinals and semifinals, as well, with six countries represented among eight surfers: Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Africa, and the United States.
Tokong proved himself worthy of the title as he delivered sensational deep barrels and aerials which gave him an advantage over Alcala.
The surf contest made Philippine history, with a whopping prize purse of 8,000 U.S. dollars, the biggest paycheck ever awarded.
The World Surf League and Asian Surfing Championship also gave the winner QS (Qualifying Series) 1,500. Surfers need to earn points per stop to qualify for the world championship title.
“I cannot believe that I won this event,” Tokong told My Life On Board in an interview. “It’s been my dream for a long time.”
Asked what he planned to do with his prize, he said, “I will buy land with the prize that I got from this contest. That’s a good investment for me for winning this competition.”
Watch the highlights of the competition below:
My Life On Board and InterAksyon.com are media partners of the 21st Siargao International Surfing Cup.
Michael Eijansantos is the founder of My Life on Board, a premiere web media site for board riders in the Philippines.
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