- WSL / Daniel Smorigo
- WSL / Daniel Smorigo
Freestone's Big Rio Score
After injuring himself on the Gold Coast and missing two events, the Australian rookie has advanced to the Quarters at the Oi Rio Pro.

After a tough start to his rookie season, Jack Freestone is back where he belongs. He suffered an early defeat at the Quiksilver Pro, tore his MCL soon after and was sidelined for the next two events. But his runner-up finish at the Oi Rio Pro has put a huge exclamation point on his official return.

His victims at the event included Jeremy Flores, Jordy Smith, Italo Ferreira, Miguel Pupo and Gabriel Medina. He surfed every heat of the event on his way to his first CT final. Here's what Jack had to say about his return.

Jack Freestone Scores First Heat Win as a Rookie
A look at Jack Freeston's Round Two victory over Jeremy Flores.

WSL: How is it coming back from injury to make the first heats of your CT career?
Jack Freestone: Well being where I am now, it's really good coming back. It feels like this is the start of my year. I got to surf one event and got hurt, and sat the next two out, so I didn't get the start I wanted to. I then had to watch for two events, which was really hard, but I guess it was a blessing in disguise because I came back maybe a little bit hungrier.

Jack Freestone won his round 2 heat. For Freestone, Rio felt like the true start to his year, after being sidelined by injury. - WSL / Kelly Cestari

WSL: What was it like to have to be on the sidelines for a bit?
JF: Mentally, to watch someone else be where you should be, it's pretty hard. But in saying that, it made me really want to come back and do well.

WSL: How did you prepare to get back in the game?
JF: There was no real preparation. I literally started surfing again a week before this event. I had been out for eight weeks and then just got straight into it.

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