Hall to miss Ballito due to spinal injury

2013-06-19 00:00

A SEVERE spinal injury picked up at last week’s Volcom Fiji Pro has ruled defending champion Glenn Hall (Australia) out of the Mr Price Pro in Ballito starting on July 1.

Hall upset the formbook last year when he won his maiden ASP Prime Event at Ballito and was set to return in an effort to defend his crown.

However, his plans of slipping in the Oakley Pro Bali after the Fiji contest before heading for KwaZulu-Natal were dealt a crushing blow at the Restaurants break off Tavarua Island.

While producing world-class surf, Fiji’s waves break over a razor sharp coral reef, making it one of the world’s most dangerous surfing locations, as Hall found out.

Taking to the water against South Africa’s Jordy Smith, who has dispatched Hall in all three of their showdowns this season, Hall was looking for the perfect wave and ride to break the sequence, a wave that would have offered him a deep barrel ride and close to a perfect 10 score.

Said Hall: “I was looking for one of the more hollow set waves and stroked into what I thought was the perfect wave.

“It’s never quite worked out that way and rather than feeling heartbreak at blowing a great opportunity, it became backbreaking as I was sucked over the falls on the wave.”

Hall landed on a sharp coral head that drove into his spine, pinning him underwater.

He was rescued by the jet-ski water patrol team and airlifted to Nadi airport on the mainland.

From Nadi airport , a jet flew him to Australia, where CT scans revealed fractures in his L2, 3 and 4 vertebrae.

This means a lengthy recovery time and no chance of competing in immediate and upcoming events.

Hall was disappointed not to return to South Africa.

“It’s unfortunate I cannot return to defend my title at a location that provides me with fond memories,” he said.

“My focus is to concentrate on healing up and hitting the water as soon as possible. I’ll be watching the action online.”

With Hall’s withdrawal, a spot in the field became available and has gone to former South African Thomas Woods, the first alternate, who now resides in Australia.

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