GABRIEL Medina has taken out the Tahiti Pro in Teahupo’o after defeating Australia Owen Wright in the final with a last-gasp barrel.
Wright was on track to claim his first tour win of the season until a final exchange saw Medina snatch a 13.50 to 12.07 victory in the final two minutes.
“I’m just so happy to win here again,” Medina said.
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“I came here and trained a lot, and I was just waiting for the victory. I love Tahiti and I’ve had some great finals here. I’ve won here before, two second-place finishes, and another win now. I have a great family here, which is incredible. Now I can kind of start thinking about winning a World Title. I think anything is possible. There’s a couple of events to go and I just want to keep giving it my best.”
Wright’s runner-up finish lifted him from 11th to sixth in the WSL championship standings, while Medina moved above Australian Julian Wilson to world No.2 behind fellow Brazillian Felipe Toledo.
Earlier, Wright defeated Toledo in the semi-finals after dominating countryman Wade Carmichael in their all-Australian quarter-final clash.
“It’s a sting, but it’s just nice to be back in the final,” Wright said.
“Right now, it’s a hard loss to take a second, but it’s been an incredible week. It all came down to those last two waves. I made the wrong decision and I’m already feeling that deep burn and drive. I’m stoked for Gabby, well-deserved win for him after it got taken off him by Julian (Wilson) just last year.”
The world’s best surfers now head to California for the next event, the Surf Ranch Pro, which starts September 6.