The Sunday Mail (Queensland)

Aussie rookie shines in final loss

- AMANDA LULHAM

MULTIPLE world champion Carissa Moore has another heavy piece of silverware to lug back home after surfing into her first ever world championsh­ip tour surfing final at the Newcastle Cup.

But Aussie rookie Isabella Nichols has something else in her possession she thinks will hold her in ever better stead in the future – knowledge.

The Sunshine Coast 23year-old was beaten by Moore in the final of the women’s world tour event at Merewether Beach yesterday.

Moore claimed the heat, her 24th championsh­ip tour win and world No. 1 ranking with her 15.73 to 8.34 victory over the young Aussie.

But Nichols, who beat seven-time world champion earlier in the event and then compatriot Keely Andrew in the semi-finals, wasn’t “bummed’’. She was already plotting how she would learn from the experience ahead of the tour’s next leg, the Narrabeen Classic from April 16.

“It felt good out there even if that wasn’t my dream scenario, Carissaa humbled me out there,’’ she said

“I have a lot more confidence after this.

“But that last heat brought me down to earth which is good. It has shown me what I need to be and do. I still have a long way to go but I think these lessons will all help me.’’ ON Tuesday, when Morgan Cibilic smashed his foot, few outside surfing circles knew his name.

On Saturday, after finishing third at the Newcastle Cup with a fracture in his toe and painful bone bruising in his foot, he’s now known as one of the hottest – and toughest – talents in world surfing.

Cibilic is now ranked No. 7 in the world after his third place at the event where he was stopped in his tracks by former Brazilian world champion Gabriel Medina in Saturday’s semi-final.

Medina was then beaten in the final by compatriot Italo Ferreira in the event decider at Merewether.

Despite just falling short of his first ever world tour final, Cibilic was a happy man.

“I have lost to him (Medina) twice now but you can’t be too unhappy when you get beaten by a two time world champion.”

 ??  ?? Isabella Nichols and Carissa Moore after their final.
Isabella Nichols and Carissa Moore after their final.

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