- WSL / Hiroshi Ichino

The 2023 White Buffalo Hyuga Pro, World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 event has seen another massive day of competition with the completion of the men's Round of 64 and Round of 32. Competitors continued to battle in small clean surf, with Okurahahama Beach providing one-to-two foot waves.

John Mark-Tokong John Mark-Tokong - WSL / Hiroshi Ichino

Japanese Championship Tour hopeful Hiroto Ohara was one of the day's standout performers, booking himself a spot in the Round of 16 with a display of lightning-quick frontside hacks and vertical hits. Ohara looked confident as he aims to bounce back on the rankings and earn a spot on the Challenger Series in 2023.

"I like it when the surf is small like this because you can catch many waves," Ohara said. "It only takes a few seconds to get back out the back. It's good to be back in Hyuga. I like it here and always enjoy my surfing here. I haven't performed at my peak yet at this event, but that is fine because I want to build up and peak in the final. A win here is all I'm aiming for."

Hiroto Ohara Hiroto Ohara - WSL / Hi

The only surfer who out-shone Ohara on Day 2 was Yuji Nishi (JPN), who looks to be the man to beat in Hyuga. Nishi topped scored in both the Round of 64 and 32. His 15.25 (out of a possible 20) was the highest of the event so far.

Keanu Kamiyama (JPN) adapted well to the small waves at Okurahahama Beach as he travelled to the event directly from spending time in Hawaii chasing big waves. Kamiyama looked right at home as he booked himself a spot in the round of 16 thanks to back-to-back heat wins on Day 2.

"I only recently got back from Hawaii and still have jet lag," Kamiyama said. "I think that worked to my advantage because I have been awake and preparing for my heat since 4:00 a.m. I love coming to Hyuga. I first came here for an ISA junior event a few years ago and did well, so I always have great memories of competing here."

Daiki Tanaka Daiki Tanaka - WSL / Hiroshi Ichino

Indonesian trio Ketut Agus (INA), Ryuki Waida (INA) and Bronson Meydi (INA) continued their charge towards Finals Day along with Filipino pair Noah Arkfeld (PHL) and John Mark Tokong (PHL).

The competition will continue tomorrow, with the women's top seeds expected to hit the water, followed by the men's Round of 16.

The 2023 White Buffalo Hyuga Pro QS 3,000 will run from March 2 - 5.

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