A tense moment followed Malia Manuel's (HAW) Round 4 victory over Paige Hareb (NZL). The Hawaiian boarded the jet ski cradling a bloody right hand and it was uncertain whether or not she would return for the Quarterfinal heat she had just tried tirelessly to qualify for.
Ultimately, in an impressive display of mental and physical toughness, Manuel hit the water sporting a bandage with rumors of a broken hand and won her Quarterfinal heat.
The rush of competition has subsided as the women begin to leave the island, but ASP got a chance to catch up with Manuel to check in on how she was recovering.
Now that you're a day removed from injuring your hand how is it feeling?
It's pretty swollen and super sore today. I didn't feel it too much yesterday. It was straight adrenaline I think. Both from the business end of the competition and the perfection of the surf. Really pumped on the waves we got for this event, but yeah, hand needs some icing this morning.
We saw a bunch of wipeouts at Cloudbreak yesterday. All of you were really charging. When and how did you end up injuring yourself?
It actually happened as I was paddling back out. I duck-dove a wave and got sucked back over the falls. The wave threw me into the bottom and my board was actually pinning my hand to the reef. I thought I had broken it and everyone else did immediately too. Glad it looks like I didn't and I was able to get through my Quarterfinal heat.
Have you received a concrete diagnosis in terms of the physical damage?
Latest consensus from the medical staff is that it's not broken, just a bad contusion. It has some grazes on it and it's bruised and swollen today, but I don't think I'll need an x-ray. Just give it some rest and I should be fine in a week or so.
Manuel is scheduled to compete next at the Vans US Open of Surfing from July 27- August 3, 2014.