Wright wins in Rio

15 May 2017

SURFING: Defending world champion Tyler Wright has delivered a huge performance to take out the Rio Pro and claim the yellow leader's rash vest.

Wright defeated Frenchwoman Johanne Defay in the final with two huge waves.

Wright backed up a 7.50 with a near-perfect 9.67 which featured a series of cutbacks to take the title in Brazil.

Earlier in the day Wright beat fellow Australian Sally Fitzgibbons in the semi- finals with two similarly big waves.

Wright now shares the lead in the women's rankings with fellow Australian and six-time world champion Steph Gilmore and it's something that has Wright revved up for the next stop on the tour at Tavarua, Fiji.

"It is sick to be sharing the jersey with Steph," Wright said.

"It is going to be a good year. It has always been a part of my plan after the Australian leg to be in this position. I am feeling really good. It is cool to be working on stuff over the last year and put it into action."

Wright surfed through every heat to defend her event title and claim her third win at the event.

"This has been a good week," Wright added.

"I've put in a massive block of work before I came over, making sure that my backhand was where it needed to be. It is cool to be able to focus on performance and what I've actually got to do. I am psyched on that."

In the Men's event, Mick Fanning, Adrian Buchan and Owen Wright put on a surfing clinic at Saquarema to move into the quarter-finals of the Rio Pro in Brazil.

The Australian trio were joined there by 2015 world champion Brazilian Adrian de Souza with at least one other countryman with him after the fifth round.

De Souza opened the fourth round by winning an all-Brazilian heat over Wiggoly Dontas and Gabriel Medina, with the latter unlucky not to take the heat after judges scored him harshly for a late ride that included a massive aerial.

Medina wasn't the only Brazilian star to display slick aerial maneuvers though.

Rising 20-year-old star Yago Dora threw down the gauntlet to Fanning and Joel Parkinson in their heat as the youngster from Florianopolis exploded late on.

AAP

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