Joana Schenker: she won the first ever world bodyboarding title for Portugal | Photo: Estrelinha/APB

Joana Schenker has been crowned the 2017 APB Women's World Tour champion.

The 30-year-old athlete secured the first ever world bodyboarding title for Portugal, after reaching the quarterfinals of the Nazaré Pro, held at Praia do Norte, in her home country.

The bodyboarder from Sagres has been ruling the European bodyboarding scene for four consecutive years but had never won the sport's most prestigious trophy.

"I feel relieved - it's over. It's unbelievable. It was a very distant dream that suddenly became a reality in a month. But I am very happy to bring this world title to Portugal," expressed Joana Schenker.

"Because this country deserved it already, and for all the affection and strength that I have received from all people since the title hopes came to life, "he said.

Joana Schenker has been competing for 15 years and has been able to turn pro with the help of local and international sponsors.

Yet, before celebrating her maiden world title, the Portuguese rider had to wait patiently on the beach and watch the semifinals and final unfold.

Her fate was in the hands of two Japanese bodyboarders. Ayaka Suzuki and Sari Ohhara should beat Alexandra Rinder and Isabela Sousa so that she won the world title.

And that was precisely what took place. Suzuki defeated Rinder in the semifinal, and Ohhara narrowly eliminated Sousa, handing Schenker the coveted trophy.

Portugal had never had an athlete in the list of world bodyboarding champions, since the tour began back in 1982.

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