The Murasaki Shonan Open QS 1,500 supported by Nissan Caravan NV350 crowned Shonan's own Jin Suzuki its 2019 victor in tough, one-to-two foot conditions at Kugenuma Beach. This marks Suzuki's first-ever QS victory and moved him up a remarkable 699 spots on the international rankings to No. 204.
"I still cannot believe I won my first QS today," Suziki said. "It was a really amazing week for me and this event was my biggest focus to step up to higher-rated QS events. I needed the money and points to start traveling outside of Japan for events and give myself an opportunity to make it up the rankings. I want to thank my supporters and local community for all their support this week, it meant so much."
Suzuki had to overcome an impressive Final that included Rio Waida, Kenta Ishikawa, and Yuta Tsukamoto -- after turning his Semifinal heat in the dying minutes. The 19-year-old was able to find two quick scores totaling 11.75 (out of a possible 20) on his first two waves and left the field chasing him.
Waida made a surge toward the end of the heat, but it would not be enough to overtake Suzuki and the Indonesian talent finished runner-up. The upcoming threat made a big impact at the Bali Corona Protected and has since taken that experience toward a No. 110 spot on the QS ranks with this event marking his first Finals appearance of 2019.
"I love Japan and wanted to participate in this event this year," Waida said. "Leading up to the Final I was able to find some good scores which was pretty lucky with the conditions. I couldn't get the job done in the Final but it was a very meaningful week and I'm happy with runner-up. Hopefully I can keep up this momentum moving into the next events."