Oz surfer ‘ex­cited’ to com­pete af­ter shark at­tack

The China Post - - SPORTS -

Aus­tralian surf cham­pion Mick Fan­ning said he was ex­cited about re­sum­ing com­pet­i­tive surf­ing af­ter fight­ing off a shark in South Africa, but ad­mit­ted he was spooked by see­ing a fin on his first re­turn to the waves.

The 34-year-old made head­lines around the globe when he bat­tled a shark on live tele­vi­sion while com­pet­ing at a world tour event at Jef­freys Bay off South Africa’s Eastern Cape province in midJuly.

About a week later, Fan­ning re- turned to the ocean off Aus­tralia’s east coast to surf when he “saw a shadow go through a wave.”

“I was like, ‘You’re kid­ding me’ and I was like, ‘Nah, nah, it’s just a bird, it’s just a bird’,” the three­time world cham­pion said from Tahiti, where he is set to com­pete in the next leg of the World Surf League Tour this week­end.

How­ever, anx­ious to catch one more wave, Fan­ning stayed out on the wa­ter when he “saw a fin just come up and go through the wave.”

“I was



‘Are you for real, what’s go­ing on here?’” he told the tour’s or­ga­niz­ers.

The surfer’s re­turn to the wa­ter was be­ing filmed by an Aus­tralian tele­vi­sion pro­gram, and he ad­mit­ted he agreed to take his board out at a spot he nor­mally did not surf.

De­spite his ex­pe­ri­ences, Fan­ning — cur­rently ranked sec­ond on the tour — said he wanted to re­sume com­pet­i­tive surf­ing as soon as pos­si­ble af­ter the at­tack.

“If you leave it for too long, then your mind starts play­ing tricks on you,” said Fan­ning.

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