Alejo Muniz Wins Estoril Quiksilver Pro 2009

The young Brazilian Alejo Muniz (19) secured his best win of his carreer to date with 2500 rating points and a US$ 25.000 cheque, the richest winner's prize of the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS).

Alejo Muniz.  Copyright: Aquashot/ASPEUROPE.COMBrazil's wunderkind Alejo Muniz (BRA) won the ASP WQS 6-Star Estoril Quiksilver Pro 2009 event today finishing on top of the final encounter against fellow finalist Masatoshi Ohno (JPN), clinching crucial 2500 ratings' points and a US$ 25.000 cheque, the richest winner's prize of the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS). Muniz, who went through five rounds today defeating favorites and ASP Dream Tour members Tim Boal (FRA)  and Marlon Lipke (DEU) on his way to the final, secured his best result to date in Portugal and gets his 2009 ASP season going with a significant confidence boost.

Muniz, 19, whose talent and performances already rocketed him to the status of Braziliam surfing's next best thing, dominated the Estoril Quiksilver Pro 2009 througout the week coming out on top of the pack with a couple of 9.60 point rides and an impressive 18.60 point heat combination on Day 3 of competition. Despite the tricky conditions of the final day, Muniz not only showed technical skills but came-up with solid tactics and maturity using his natural talent to defeat two of the world's best surfers.

"I am just so happy I cannot even realize what I have done right now," Muniz said. "My only wish coming here was to have fun as much as I could and enjoy my surfing in any kind of waves. It is the perfect day for me and I managed to get the best out of these conditions so I could not have hoped for anymore."

Muniz, who will be surfing a few ASP WQS events this year, remains focused on his preogression as a junior surfer still and will use the precious 2500 points to build his seeding for 2010 where he shall be a serious contender towards a possible ASP World Tour qualification in the near future. Muniz finishes the Estoril Quiksilver Pro with six of the best 10 results under his belt, a good sign of his potential.

"Defeating Tim (Boal) and Marlon (Lipke) is something I will remember for some time," Muniz said. "I felt a bit of pressure facing such good surfers but I really thought that focusing on my pleasure and having fun could get me somewhere. I think that's my biggest lesson from this event."

Fellow finalist Masatoshi Ohno (JPN), 27, became the first Japanese ever to make the final of an ASP WQS 6-Star event, the experienced competitor being another great surprise in the event after he defeated favorites Joan Duru (FRA) and Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) on his run to the final, two of Europe's best chances for an ASP Top 45 inception. Ohno, who was running out of energy in the 30-minute decider, heads to Scotland with another keeper for his ASP World Tour qualification.

"I wanted to win and I lacked this last section on my final wave to grab the 6.00 points I needed to get back in the lead," Ohno said. "It is my best result ever and I am so happy to do well here in Portugal, one of the European countries I like most. Alejo (Muniz) was impressive for sure but I was not far from clinching that crown. Definitely an excellent finish before the next event and a keeper for my main goal which is the ASP World Tour."

The ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) now move to Scotland for the ASP WQS 6-Star Prime rated competition will start April 29, 2009

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