Updated: Aug 18
The Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona, Stop No. 8 on the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Championship Tour (CT), completed the women’s and men’s Elimination Round and women’s Quarterfinals in clean three-to-four foot surf at Saquarema.
Saquarema Shakes Up Women’s Top Five Rankings
Carissa Moore (HAW), five-time WSL Champion and World No. 1, finally seemed to get her rhythm in Rio when she locked in her best performance to defeat WSL season wildcard Caroline Marks (USA) and advance to the Semifinals. “I was looking forward to this matchup with Caroline. I knew coming into this event with her seeding that if I made it to the Quarterfinals we’d most likely have another matchup, so I thought I probably have the hardest road to the finals! I respect Caroline and all the other girls we surf against so much, because we bring out the best in each other. That was a good heat, but I definitely had to put my head down and fight for it,” said Moore.
Carissa Moore (HAW) guaranteed a spot in the Semifinals at the Oi Rio Pro presented by Corona. Credit: © WSL / Diz
Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) dominated the last Quarterfinal matchup of the day against Isabella Nichols (AUS). With strong and powerful single maneuvers, Weston-Webb led the heat from start to finish and will surf against Moore in the second Semifinal.
Johanne Defay (FRA) breathed a sigh of relief when she booked her spot in the Semifinals, defeating former Oi Rio Pro winner Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS).
Rookie Gabriela Bryan (HAW) continued her impressive run in Rio when she defeated Lakey Peterson (USA) in the Quarterfinals. In a tense battle with Peterson right up until the last second, Bryan did enough to hold onto the lead and secure a Semifinal place.
“It was really stressful and quite slow so I was happy to get a few opportunities. Lakey is an amazing competitor, we’ve had a few heats this year. She got me in G-Land so it’s good to get one back, it would’ve been awesome if we had more opportunities to do more surfing, but I’m stoked,” said Bryan.
Gabriela Bryan (HAW) at the Oi Rio Pro presented by Corona. Credit: © WSL / Smorigo
Top seeds Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) and Brisa Hennessy (CRI) suffered early eliminations in Rio at the hands of Isabella Nichols (AUS) and Lakey Peterson (USA) and this will have massive implications on the top five rankings.
“It’s a bummer to come to Brazil and have an event go like that,” said Gilmore. “It was just the conditions, I felt like I could get the scores if I could just get the waves, but I couldn’t. Isabella (Nichols) was in the perfect place for that right hander and that was really the best wave of the heat, that’s just how the cookie crumbles.”
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) was defeated by Isabella Nichols in the Quarterfinals at the Oi Rio Pro presented by Corona. Credit: © WSL / Diz
Wildcards Steal the Show
In one of the closest matchups, event wildcard Miguel Tudela (PER) dispatched Griffin Colapinto (USA) in the first heat of the men’s Elimination Round. The intent to win was palpable as Colapinto and Tudela pushed each other right up until the end. Tudela didn’t give up and found a buzzer-beater, launching himself into the air to get the required score and upset Colapinto.
“It was a tough heat against Griffin, and he comes from winning an event, so I knew I had to do my best, focus on the lefts and try to go for the air. In the end, I was lucky to get one more chance after the heat was tied. That wave came and I pulled off the air, not sure how I did it, but I’m really happy,” said Tudela.
Miguel Tudela (PER) overcame Griffin Colapinto (USA) at the Oi Rio Pro presented by Corona. Credit: © WSL / Smorigo
Mateus Herdy (BRA) upped the ante in Heat 3 against Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) with his incredible air-game. Herdy found the perfect sections to take to the air for an excellent heat total and sent Igarashi packing.
Saquarema Continues to Surprise
In what started as a slow heat, Caio Ibelli (BRA) got the crowd to their feet when he scored a perfect 10-point ride for a long, deep barrel. In the last minute, he changed the outcome of the heat, eliminating compatriot B (BRA), who surfed in his 100th CT event.The Brazilian fans went from loud cheers to silence when Gabriel Medina (BRA) had a shocker of a heat, losing to Callum Robson (AUS). In an interesting move, Medina opted to search for opportunities on the far left, leaving Robson all to himself in the lineup. Medina uncharacteristically couldn’t land any of his air attempts, while Robson stuck to his game plan and scored excellent rides on the rights.
“That was a massive moment. The crowd was going wild every time he (Medina) stood up, so coming up against it, I’m just stoked I had the opportunity to compete against him in front of this massive crowd in Brazil,” said Robson.
Medina came up the beach with a slight hobble in his step. When asked by Jadson André what happened, Medina said that he hurt his knee and went straight to the medical station. Initial feedback was that there was no serious damage, but will depend on how he wakes up tomorrow morning.
“My knee feels a little sore, on my second air attempt I slipped and the board banged into my inner right knee,” said Medina. “I tried testing it out on some other airs, but just didn’t feel confident enough to try to land them. It’s always great to compete at home and I want to thank all the fans that have shown me so much support. I wish I had made it a little bit farther, but this year has really been just to get my rhythm back in the water and not stress out about results. Next year is my real goal to be 100% physically to go after another world title as well as qualify for the 2024 Olympics.”
The WSL Tours and Competition team will reconvene tomorrow, June 25, at 7:15 a.m. (GMT-3) to decide the next competition update.
Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona Women’s Elimination Round Results:
HEAT 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 8.50 DEF. Sol Aguirre (PER) 8.33
HEAT 2: Isabella Nichols (AUS) 11.16 DEF. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 10.70
HEAT 3: Johanne Defay (FRA) 8.90 DEF. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 7.10
HEAT 4: Lakey Peterson (USA) 11.33 DEF. Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 5.80
Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona Women’s Quarterfinal Results:
HEAT 1: Johanne Defay (FRA) 9.43 DEF. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 8.10
HEAT 2: Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 8.94 DEF. Lakey Peterson (USA) 8.33
HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 12.47 DEF. Caroline Marks (USA) 10.50
HEAT 4: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 11.40 DEF. Isabella Nichols (AUS) 4.50
Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona Women’s Semifinal Matchups:
HEAT 1: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Gabriela Bryan (HAW)
HEAT 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA)
Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona Men’s Elimination Round Results:
HEAT 1: Miguel Tudela (PER) 14.30 DEF. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 12.60
HEAT 2: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 14.43 DEF. Jadson Andre (BRA) 8.83
HEAT 3: Mateus Herdy (BRA) 16.00 DEF. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 12.90
HEAT 4: Nat Young (USA) 12.00 DEF. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10.17
HEAT 5: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 13.67 DEF. Joao Chianca (BRA) 13.57
HEAT 6: Samuel Pupo (BRA) 11.00 DEF. Kolohe Andino (USA) 6.27
HEAT 7: Callum Robson (AUS) 15.57 DEF. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 10.37
HEAT 8: Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 11.40 DEF. Jake Marshall (USA) 10.53
Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona Men’s Round of 16 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Jack Robinson (AUS) vs. Mateus Herdy (BRA)
HEAT 2: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Samuel Pupo (BRA)
HEAT 3: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
HEAT 4: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Nat Young (USA)
HEAT 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Miguel Tudela (PER)
HEAT 6: Connor O'Leary (AUS) vs. Matthew McGillivray (ZAF)
HEAT 7: Ethan Ewing (AUS) vs. Yago Dora (BRA)
HEAT 8: Callum Robson (AUS) vs. Jackson Baker (AUS)
Stay tuned to American Surf Magazine for more coverage.