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Parkinson beaten in California surf final

AAP logoAAP 14/09/2016

Australian Joel Parkinson has lost a nail-biting final of the World Surf League event in California to South Africa's Jordy Smith.

In pursuit of his first victory since June 2013, the Australian veteran was beaten by 0.44 in the final, falling agonisingly short with a long ride in the final five minutes.

Parkinson fell in a last-ditch effort in the final minute to pull off the massive score required before securing his first second spot in two seasons.

"I'm really happy to be back here and on the podium -- it feels really good," he said.

"This event I was so motivated and really keen to notch a win up.

"The talent of surfing in this event is incredible and I have to give it to Jordy, he's an amazing surfer and a top world title contender."

Smith's win moved him to fourth in the championship, one spot and a meagre 1300 points behind best-placed Australian Matt Wilkinson, while Parkinson is now sixth with three events remaining ahead of the European leg of the tour.

"If I can be in with a shot at the world title this year then that will be great," Smith said.

"Europe can go either way so I'm just going to try my hardest and see how it goes."

Meanwhile Wilkinson's championship hopes appear to be waning after another disappointing event.

The Australian failed to reach the third round for the second successive event, and has not reached a final since the Fiji Pro in early June, to be 5150 points behind Hawaiian leader John John Florence.

Earlier, Parkinson defeated American Tanner Gudauskis by 0.10 in their tight semi-final, while Smith won his way to the decider by beating Brazil's Filipe Toledo.

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