WORLD No.2 Filipe Toledo has kept his world title hopes alive after getting through to the third round of the Rip Curl Pro in Portugal overnight.
The Brazillian almost suffered another blow in his campaign by being relegated to the elimination round 2 by compatriot Tomas Hermes, but later redeemed himself with a critical win over wildcard Samuel Pupoin Round 2.
“It was a tough loss this morning and really hard to digest,” Toledo said.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
“It was still super hard to find a wave out there. It took me more than 15 minutes to find a backup but I’m just glad to make it. You can’t apply a big portion of your strategy when the guy is so far away from you, so I was just hoping that another little corner would come my way and I’d get another barrel.”
Gabriel Medina can only earn a second world title early at this event if he wins, and if Toledo and Australian Julian Wilson get knocked out early from the competition.
Medina found his groove right away on familiar territory in Peniche easily advancing into Round 3.
“It feels good to be wearing the yellow Jeep Leader Jersey again,” Medina said.
“It’s really hard out there but I got a lot of waves and I’m happy to make it through. It’s good to have this kind of love and support here. I feel like I’m surfing at home and it’s great to be back in Portugal.”
Wilson posted one of the day’s biggest performances with two solid rides to take a 14.50 total win that will see him straight into Round 3.
The Australian started with a deep backhand barrel, which he exited cleanly for a 7.50 and later committed to a high-risk floater re-entry manoeuvre on his backhand once again for a 7-point ride to seal the deal.
“I love the challenge of trying to perform in conditions that are very very tricky, and I’m happy to find a couple of scores then,” Wilson said.
“I’m sure I’m going to continue to be tested down here. You only get a couple of heats where it’s dreamy, most of the time you’re grinding it out. The contests are very close together and I felt like I didn’t have much time to reset. But I was able to get a good sleep which was crucial and came here for a surf early this morning before the start.”
Fellow Australians Ryan Callinan, Owen Wright, Adrian Buchan and Wade Carmichael also made it through to Round 3.
MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 9.53, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 9.00, Owen Wright (AUS) 6.50
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 9.73, Yago Dora (BRA) 5.57, Keanu Asing (HAW) 4.54
Heat 3: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 10.94, Frederico Morais (PRT) 6.20, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 4.43
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.50, Connor O’Leary (AUS) 12.00, Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 9.47
Heat 5: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 10.50, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 9.56, Miguel Blanco (PRT) 4.17
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.17, Samuel Pupo (BRA) 6.03, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 4.77
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 9.10, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 8.30, Wade Carmichael (AUS) 5.80
Heat 8: Conner Coffin (USA) 12.16, Griffin Colapinto (USA) 10.17, Joan Duru (FRA) 3.17
Heat 9: Ian Gouveia (BRA) 11.50, Kolohe Andino (USA) 5.76, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 1.80
Heat 10: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 8.83, Willian Cardoso (BRA) 7.03, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 2.54
Heat 11: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 14.77, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 6.77, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 6.17
Heat 12: Michel Bourez (PYF) 10.47, Michael February (ZAF) 6.73, Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 1.67
MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.67 def. Samuel Pupo (BRA) 5.03
Heat 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 9.33 def. Miguel Blanco (PRT) 7.73
Heat 3: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 8.03 def. Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 7.90
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.33 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 9.73
Heat 5: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 14.50 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 9.67
Heat 6: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 13.00 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 10.10
MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Remaining Round 2 Matchups:
Heat 7: Adriano De Souza (BRA) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 8: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 9: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Michael February (ZAF)
Heat 10: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 11: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) vs. Connor O’Leary (AUS)
Heat 12: Yago Dora (BRA) vs. Frederico Morais (PRT)