30 April, 2013 30 April, 2013

John John Florence withdraws from Billabong Rio Pro

30.9%* of South Africa’s surfers are going to be bummed to hear the news that John John Florence has withdrawn from the Billabong Rio Pro, citing his lingering ankle injury as the reason for his inability to compete.

John John acquired the injury trying to touch-down from a solid full-rotation punt during the Expression Session of the Quiksilver Pro at Snapper Rocks in March (see video below).

The fact that JJF actually did try and land that projected punt into the flats, instead of ditching his board, is likely why he gets the vote from so many South Africans as one of the most exciting surfers in the world.

With a large number of surf fans already bemoaning the running of the event in Rio, having last year’s winner withdraw from the contest makes it a double bummer, but at least Kelly will be there after he too missed out last year due to a damaged heel – which is almost a like-for-like replacement give or take 11 World Titles.

The Billabong Rio Pro kicks off on 8 May and will be streamed LIVE on http://wctbrasil.com/rio13.

* According to our recent reader survey, the results of which can be read in the latest issue of Zag,

Official Press release below:


BREAKING NEWS: Defending Champion John John Florence Withdraws from Billabong Rio Pro


LOS ANGELES, California/USA (Monday, April 29, 2013) – John John Florence (HAW), 20, has officially withdrawn from the Billabong Rio Pro, the upcoming third stop on the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT).

The defending event champion was sidelined during the opening stop of the year with an ankle injury sustained on the Gold Coast. Florence was unable to compete at the second stop on tour at Bells Beach and has opted out of the Billabong Rio Pro in hopes of healing 100% before rejoining the elite ranks.

“I am going to take my time and wait for my ankle to heal 100% before competing,” Florence said. “I am looking forward to being healthy and ready for Fiji and the rest of the year.”

The ASP wish John John a continued speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him back in the water soon.

The ASP Top 34 will next do battle at the Billabong Rio Pro from May 8 – 19, 2013.

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com

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