One-armed surfer rules the waves

American surfer Bethany Hamilton in action yesterday at the Fiji Women's Pro at Tavarua.

The one-armed surfer sealed third place in the competition after beating six-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore and world No. 1 Tyler Wright before losing to the winner, France's Johanne Defay, in the semi-finals.

Hamilton, whose left arm was bitten off in a shark attack in 2003, entered the event as a wild card, rated as having little chance of making an impact. But the 26-year-old from Hawaii reached the final four with an incredible giant-killing run.

Hamilton was 13 when she was attacked by a huge tiger shark, severing her left arm just below the shoulder. But she returned to surfing just three weeks after the incident.

She has become an inspirational role model, appearing in numerous television shows over the years.

In 2004, MTV Books published Hamilton's book, Soul Surfer: A True Story Of Faith, Family, And Fighting To Get Back On The Board, which describes her ordeal.

The 2011 movie, Soul Surfer, was based on her book.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2016, with the headline 'One-armed surfer rules the waves'. Print Edition | Subscribe