Tokong masters the waves to win 25th Siargao International Surfing Cup
SIARGAO ISLAND, Surigao del Norte—Philippine surfing idol John Mark Tokong stayed calm in the face of grinding pressure to rule the 25th Siargao International Surfing Cup finals for the second time Wednesday at the iconic Cloud 9 here.
Cool and composed, Tokong, who will spearhead the country’s gold-medal bid in the Southeast Asian Games, edged Hawaiian standout Noah Beschen in a final to remember, 16.80-16.75, to erase the bitter memories of his finals loss last year to Skip McCullough of the United States.
‘’I dedicate this win to my townmates and my family. I just don’t want to disappoint them,’’ said Tokong, 23.
Tokong rode the waves with aplomb to down Indonesian rival Oney Anwar in the quarterfinals before treating the near-delirious crowd to masterful surfing with a 19.05-15-30 triumph over Costa Rican’s standout Tomas King in the semifinals.
Tokong’s rounds included a 9.50, which he further improved to a near-perfect 9.55 to the delight of the jampacked crowd at the world famous Tower.
Tokong fortified his bid for an improved ranking worldwide in the World Surf League Qualifying Series (QS) 1,500 event.
Beschen ousted Australian Callum Robson in the quarterfinals before ending the fairy-tale run of Indonesian youngster Bronson Meydi in the semifinals. The 15-year-old Meydi shocked New Zealander Elliot Paerata Reid in the quarterfinals.
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