- WSL / Steve Sherman
- WSL / Steve Sherman

Following their Round Five clash at the Billabong Pipe Masters, photographer Steve Sherman captured a candid moment between Gabriel Medina and Kelly Slater. In the image, Slater appears to be congratulating the Brazilian for making the most of his World Title chances, you can see the appreciation in Slater's body language.

Medina's Magic
Gabriel Medina earns an 8.93 in Round Four Heat 3.

Prior to the Tour landing in the south of France for the Quiksilver Pro France, John John Florence was on the verge of running away from a small pack of Title contenders for the second year in a row. It was looking like he might lock things up in Europe before the Tour hit the North Shore, yet again.

2014 World Champion and title contender Gabriel Medina of Brasil used his priority over 11X World Champion and multiple Pipe Master Kelly Slater of the USA in their Round Five Heat 3 battle at the 2017 Billabong Pipe Masters at Pipe, Hawaii, USA. Medina used priority like a stone cold killer to keep Slater off this wave. Slater still scored a 6.83, imagine the score if Medina hadn't. - WSL / Tony Heff

But then Medina went on his tear, finding that elusive purple patch of form that all great athletes strive to achieve. If his win in France made things interesting, his win in Portugal -- the very next event -- made things downright gripping. His performances at Pipe were riveting, and he has nothing to hang his head about. Mere mortals would have given up ages ago. It was top-notch entertainment.

For that effort, and much more, we have Gabriel Medina to thank.

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