- WSL / Suzuki

The stage is set for Finals Day at the 2023 Bonsoy Chiba Ichinomiya Open World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3000. Only eight competitors remain as the Semifinalists were decided in super clean, two-to-three-foot surf at Shida Point.

Jin Suzuki Jin Suzuki - WSL / Suzuki

Minami Nonaka (JPN) posted the highest two-wave combination of the women's Quarterfinals to overcome prodigy Sky Brown (GRB). Nonaka was awarded an 11.10 heat total (out of a possible 20) for her lightning-quick vertical snaps. She will take on Mirai Ikeda (JPN) as she looks to move up from fourth on the WSL Asia regional rankings and closer to qualifying for the Challenger Series.

"My strategy was to start on the right and stay close to Sky (Brown) as much as possible," Nonaka said. "Once I posted a mid-range score it was about keeping her away from good waves with my priority. She is such a talent that I knew I couldn't give her much space."

Minami Nonaka Minami Nonaka - WSL / Suzuki

Reigning event winner Sara Wakita (JPN) will have the opportunity to defend her title in Chiba but will first have to overcome Kana Nakashio (JPN) in Semifinal 1.

Still hunting for a major WSL event win, Joh Azuchi (JPN) is moving closer to achieving his dream, booking a spot in the Semifinals at Chiba. The super fast natural footer will have his work cut out, coming up against local event favourite Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) in Semifinal 2.

"I've got a really good board that I've been using this whole event," Azuchi said. "It's always good to be confident in your equipment. I'm hoping to move up the rankings and beating the regional No. 1 (Rinta Oooto) in the Quarterfinals does a lot for my confidence moving forward."

Joh Azuchi Joh Azuchi - WSL / Suzuki

Event favourite Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) took down fellow Chiba local Reo Inaba (JPN) in the Quarterfinals to progress into the Semifinals. Having fallen out of the draw early in 2022, Ohhara is set on claiming victory at his home event.

"I was really disappointed to lose early at this event last year," Ohhara said. "I'm really happy to still have an opportunity to win the event at home. I've got a strategy that I've been focussing on all week and it is working well so I plan on keeping to that."

Hiroto Ohara Hiroto Ohara - WSL

Ryo Kodama (JPN) will take on event standout Jin Suzuki (JPN) in men's Semifinal 1 tomorrow.

Competition is likely to resume tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. local time.

The Bonsoy Chiba Ichinomiya Open will run from July 21 - 24 and be followed by the Ginza 78 Clinic Chiba Ichinomiya Open Pro Junior which will run from July 25 - 28.

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