Top Seeds Struggle on Opening Day of Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona

Top Five Women Relegated to the Elimination Round

Brazilian Contingent Dominates Opening Rounds

Pictured: Filipe Toledo (BRA) took to the skies at Praia de Itaúna at the Oi Rio Pro presented by Corona. Credit: © WSL / Smorigo

front page image: SAQUAREMA, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – JUNE 23: Spectators during the Opening Round at the Oi Rio Pro on June 23, 2022 at Saquarema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League)

SAQUAREMA, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Thursday, June 23, 2022) – The Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona, Stop No. 8 on the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Championship Tour (CT), kicked off today in four-to-six foot waves at Praia de Itaúna, Saquarema. The women’s and men’s Opening Rounds of competition were completed, seeing a shake-up with many top seeds relegated to the upcoming Elimination Rounds.

The WSL Tours and Competition team will reconvene tomorrow, Friday, June 24, at 7:15 a.m. (GMT-3) for a possible 7:35 a.m. start.

Top Five Women in Elimination Round

The top five women’s surfers were all relegated to the Elimination Round after a low-scoring Opening Round where wave selection and strategy was key. 2022 CT rookie Gabriela Bryan (HAW) delivered the first upset of the day when she defeated World No. 5 Lakey Peterson (USA) and World No. 3 Brisa Hennessy (CRI), sending the top seeds to the Elimination Round.

“I’m feeling super happy, first time I made it out of that heat since the Mid-season Cut, so it feels really good to bypass the Elimination Round. It’s my first time in Brazil and I’m loving it. The wave is really similar to Halewia at home, so I was just looking for a clean wave to do a turn and luckily I found a couple.” said Bryan.

Pictured: Gabriela Bryan (HAW) scored the day’s highest heat total on Opening Day of the Oi Rio Pro presented by Corona. Credit: © WSL / Smorigo

Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) advanced to the Quarterfinals over wildcard Sol Aguirre (PER) and rankings leader Carissa Moore (HAW). For Moore, this Opening Round 1 loss into the Elimination Round is only her second of the season (first at the Surf City El Salvador Pro), out of eight events.

“I’m really happy to be here in Brazil, the vibes are always amazing and I feel like I’m at home. I’m really grateful that I got that first really good left. I had a general game plan, I saw a few lefts in the middle go unridden so I thought I would take a gamble and it worked out in my favour. From there I just tried to stay in control of the heat, but it was really difficult, so I’m just grateful it worked out,” said Weston-Webb.

Caroline Marks (USA) and Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) also advanced to the Quarterfinals, relegating top seeds Johanne Defay (FRA), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) and Courtney Conlogue (USA) to the Elimination Round

Pictured: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) blasting a frontside snap at Praia de Itaúna. Credit: © WSL / Smorigo

Home-field Advantage for Brazilian Contingent

The Brazilian contingent of Tatiana Weston-Webb, Italo Ferreira, Filipe Toledo and Yago Dora seemed right at home, managing to win their Opening Round heats and advance to the Round of 16. Searching for his fourth title in Rio de Janeiro, current rankings leader Toledo was happy to be surfing in front of his home crowd.

“It’s fun, it’s a wild ride, it’s a lot of emotions and we’ve got to control it. It’s really hard to do, but with my team it makes it a lot easier. I’m just enjoying time with my family, and trying to relax and have fun,” said Toledo.

Pictured: Filipe Toledo (BRA) continued his solid 2022 campaign in the Opening Round of the Oi Rio Pro at Praia de Itaúna. Credit: © WSL / Smorigo

Gabriel Medina (BRA) struggled in the tricky conditions, and despite staying very busy, could not catch up to Connor O’Leary (AUS). Medina was relegated to the Elimination Round behind Ethan Ewing (AUS).

One of the biggest surprise results was Michael Rodrigues (BRA) defeating Griffin Colapinto (USA) in the dying minutes of the heat. Colapinto was leading Rodrigues and Jake Marshall (USA), until the Brazilian wildcard banked two scoring rides, enough to edge out Colapinto by just 0.06 points.

“It’s such a hard heat to talk about, I don’t know what happened! I’ve been competing in some national events, but when I got the wildcard for this event, it’s was such good news. I’ve been working hard on my surfing, on my mind, on everything. I feel ready and making this first heat is amazing, I’m over the moon,” said Rodrigues.

Jack Robinson (AUS), Miguel Pupo (BRA), and Jackson Baker (AUS) managed to hang on to the top spot in their heats and skip the dreaded Elimination Round.

Pictured: Jack Robinson (AUS) and Yago Dora (BRA) both advanced into the Round of 16 at the Oi Rio Pro. Credit: © WSL / Smorigo

Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona Women’s Opening Round 1 Results: 
HEAT 1: Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 11.07 DEF. Lakey Peterson (USA) 5.97, Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 5.74
HEAT 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 10.77 DEF. Sol Aguirre (PER) 9.90, Carissa Moore (HAW) 1.80
HEAT 3: Caroline Marks (USA) 10.67 DEF. Johanne Defay (FRA) 7.77, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 3.33
HEAT 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 8.24 DEF. Isabella Nichols (AUS) 7.67, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 6.70Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona Women’s Elimination Round Matchups: 
HEAT 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Sol Aguirre (PER)
HEAT 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Isabella Nichols (AUS)
HEAT 3: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)
HEAT 4: Brisa Hennessy (CRI) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)

Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona Men’s Opening Round 1 Results: 
HEAT 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.60 DEF. Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 9.00, Joao Chianca (BRA) 6.30
HEAT 2: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 12.33 DEF. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 12.27, Jake Marshall (USA) 7.24
HEAT 3: Jack Robinson (AUS) 13.67 DEF. Mateus Herdy (BRA) 8.50, Samuel Pupo (BRA) 7.50
HEAT 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.77 DEF. Nat Young (USA) 11.00, Miguel Tudela (PER) 9.23
HEAT 5: Yago Dora (BRA) 13.90 DEF. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 13.50, Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.83
HEAT 6: Connor O’Leary (AUS) 10.56 DEF. Ethan Ewing (AUS) 7.47, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 6.40
HEAT 7: Jackson Baker (AUS) 9.87 DEF. Callum Robson (AUS) 9.37, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 9.16
HEAT 8: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.83 DEF. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 8.90, Jadson Andre (BRA) 7.50

Oi Rio Pro Presented by Corona Men’s Elimination Round 2 Matchups: 
HEAT 1: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Miguel Tudela (PER)
HEAT 2: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
HEAT 3: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Mateus Herdy (BRA)
HEAT 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Nat Young (USA)
HEAT 5: Ethan Ewing (AUS) vs. Joao Chianca (BRA)
HEAT 6: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Samuel Pupo (BRA)
HEAT 7: Callum Robson (AUS) vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
HEAT 8: Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) vs. Jake Marshall (USA)

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