- WSL / Hiroshi Ichino

The stage has been set for Finals Day at the White Buffalo Hyuga Pro, World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 event, with the men's Quarterfinalists and women's Semifinalists being decided. Day 3 saw incredible performances with competitors digging deep to book themselves spots on Finals Day while Okurahahama Beach turned on super clean two-to-three foot surf.

Japanese competitor Keanu Kamiyama (JPN) has guaranteed his best-ever QS event result with a Quarterfinals berth at Okurahahama Beach. Kamiyama pulled out all the stops to progress through the Round of 16, posting the highest two-wave total of the event so far with an impressive 15.25 (out of a possible 20), which included an excellent 8.25 point ride.

"The waves are really good today," Kamiyama said. "The excellent ride I got was on a perfect wave. It just kept opening up and giving me sections for big turns - in the end, I got three good turns in, and it felt amazing. I'm super excited for Finals Day."

Keanu Kamiyana Keanu Kamiyana - WSL / Hiroshi Ichino

Kamiyama will have his work cut out on Finals Day as he comes up against Filipino fire-cracker John Mark Tokong (PHL) in Quarterfinal 3.

Indonesian duo Ketut Agus (INA) and Bronson Meydi (INA) continued their charge towards the Finals, each booking spots in the Quarterfinals in Hyuga. They will take on Keijiro Nishi (JPN) and Daiki Tanka (JPN), respectively, with the results of each heat having significant ramifications on the regional QS rankings.

Mirai Ikeda (JPN) is another competitor who looks to take a career-best result in Hyuga as she will face Minami Nonaka (JPN) in the Semifinals. Ikeda took a solid win over compatriot Shino Matsuda (JPN) in the Quarterfinals as she threw her hat in the ring for Challenger Series qualification.

"At the beginning of that heat, I couldn't find a score," Ikeda said. "I just couldn't find a wave I was happy with. Eventually, that set came straight to me, and I could score the seven, which was a relief. I feel like I've got a lot more to give in my next heat."

The standout performer in the women's was Nanaho Tsuzuki (JPN), who claimed her win with the equal best single ride of the event so far. Tsuzuki's 8.25 came from a single maneuver air-reverse. She will take on Sara Wakita (JPN) in Semifinal 2.

The competition will continue tomorrow with event winners being crowned by days end.

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

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