Buzzer Beater Finishes in Final Day of Japan World Cup

Media Release:

In the final day of the Spicare Omaezaki Japan World Cup, junior winners edged out their competitors with multiple, buzzer beater moments.

In the Pro Junior Boys, 2023 World Junior Champion, Liam Dunkerbeck (Spain) took the win in an intense final, where the last three waves ridden in the final 30 seconds counted for each of the podium finishers. In light, cross offshore conditions with clean, head high waves, Liam found an excellent set that offered multiple critical lip hits. Scoring a 7.67, he looked like he’d take the win mid-way through the heat if he could find a back-up. But in the last 30 seconds of the heat, Ryu Nogochi (Japan), who had impressed in the Pro Mens by making the semi-finals, made a late charge, nailing a good critical lip hit on a decent set to take the lead. If he’d made his last aerial on that wave, he may have won. Liam answered back on a smaller wave behind, with two lips hits that managed to give him just enough of a back-up score to take back the lead. Right on the buzzer, Hayata Ishii (Japan), who was currently sitting in fourth place, was on one of the biggest waves of the heat behind him. Hayata started with a great aerial, but the wave didn’t offer much for his second move and he scored a 6.27 to finish as runner up, just 0.2 points ahead of Ryu. Ryoma Sugi (Japan) had sat in second all the way up to the last minute, but caught a smaller wave in front of the sets and had to watch as the others all slashed their way to move ahead of him. A grateful Liam said, “It was probably one of the most difficult heats of my life. It was freezing cold, glassy on the inside and really windy on the outside. I was lucky I got that big one in the middle of the heat.”

Maria Morales Navarro (Spain) continued the Spanish conquest in the Junior Girls by knocking out upcoming Japanese talent, Nozomi Sakai and Mii Yamada. Nozomi did well to start the heat with two quick scores, but with very light winds, just fell off the back of a good wave on her second move. This still gave her the lead, which she held all the way up until the last minute, when Maria found a beautiful looking set wave. She slashed her way through multiple turns on clean walls to steal the win from Nozomi. “I’m super happy to win here at Omaezaki. The conditions were really good, but it was not that easy,” said Maria joyfully.

In difficult light-wind conditions, the Masters ended up as an all-Japanese final. Yoshitaka Ikeda found a good down the line rhythm to take out Takashi Endo in yet another close final.

Riders will now focus on the next 5 star event of the 2024 World Wave Tour in Chile, from March 30 to April 12.


Pro Junior Boys
Liam Dunkerbeck
Hayata Ishii
Ryu Noguchi
Ryoma Sugi

Pro Junior Girls
Maria Morales Navarro
Nozomi Sakai
Mii Yamada
Natsuki Wawkasa

Yoshitaka Ikeda
Takashi Endo
Masaru Nimi / Dai Akimot

Previous Post
Bernd & Motoko Win Marathon Day at Japan World Cup
Next Post
Chile World Cup Breaks Rider Numbers Record

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.