After the Olympic Qualification SLS London event, I went through to Barcelona for a day before traveling down to Montpellier in France for the 2nd stop of the Fise World Series.
I travelled with my good friends Matias Dell Olio (Argentina) and Angelo Caro (Peru) by bus. We arrived on the day of the Qualifiers in Montpellier and went straight to the skatepark to register and skate. This was the first time that Fise had built a concrete skatepark for the athletes where as their usual set up is wood. We had about an hour of warmup before the qualifiers started. The field was going to get cut down from 55 skaters to the top 24 who would make it through to the semi finals the following day. In which I qualified in 11th place to the next day.
The semi finals field was cut down from 24 skaters to the top 12 skaters that would compete in the finals the following day. The professional division was only starting later in the afternoon after the amateur division so we were able to get more practice in on the course. The park was starting to feel comfortable and I was really confident with my line as well as my tricks and usage of the course. With my confident approach I qualified to the finals in 7th place.
The following day was the finals and it was anyone’s game really, it was a long weekend with extremely warm conditions which resulted in our bodies feeling exhausted. We all persevered through the heat and went on to skate the finals. The format consisted of two 1 minute runs. My first run was a little bit sketchy and also consisted of 1 fall, however I still managed to land some pretty difficult tricks in my line that nobody else was doing.
My second run I landed a flawless line landing all my tricks clean. I thought I was in for a South African podium on the Pro World Series stage. Unfortunately skateboarding is a subjective sport and the judges put me in 6th place where as 3 skaters ahead of me all bailed in their lines. It’s a good result for South Africa and for myself, however I was hoping for a podium finish after my 2nd run. I bailed 1 trick in my first run, where as I cleaned up all my tricks and landed a flawless run in my second line with all the same tricks as the first run but still received a lower score for my second run than my first.
Watch Brandon Valjalo's 2nd run at the Fise World Pro series Montpellier below.
I wasn't going to let my emotions get the best of me and still proceeded to skate the best trick. I managed to win the best trick section with a backside flip late back foot flip across the channel.
You can watch the full finals (1hr 20mins) video below.