|Australian Women Escape Elimination on Opening Day of SHISEIDO Tahiti Pro, Tyler Wright Celebrates Provisional Olympic Qualification
Australians Molly Picklum and Tyler Wright have solidified their spots inside the Top 5 with Quarterfinal berths at the SHISEIDO Tahiti Pro. Both competitors showed commitment both on the face and in the barrel to recover from Opening Round losses and keep their campaigns alive in Tahiti.
“Teahupo’o is so hard and there are so many emotions,” Wright said. “From my first heat until now, I’ve had to be honest with how scared I am out here. Today is not massive but there is still an aspect of risk. Once I was able to accept and admit that I’m scared of this place but I can still be committed and calculated I was able to move through it all.”
With her heat win, Wright has provisionally qualified for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.
“A lot of work has gone into that,” Wright said after learning the news of her provisional qualification. “It’s one of those events where, yeah, as I would say, keeping my hands on the steering wheel in that particular situation is going to be key, especially because I think had so many emotions around here. So yeah, that’s cool. A lot of hard work. And thanks to my beautiful wife and my team here and at home. It’s cool!”
Picklum will take on 2023 CT rookie Caitlin Simmers (USA), who is hoping to hold onto her spot inside the Final 5, while Wright will take on Teahupo’o standout Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), who took a convincing win in the Opening Round earlier today.
The last heat of the day was a massive one in terms of WSL Final 5 qualification as World No. 6 Lakey Peterson (USA) took on World No. 7 Stephanie Gilmore (AUS). Both surfers need to overtake rookie Caitlin Simmers (USA), so this was a must-win heat for each competitor. It was a low-scoring affair between the two natural footers but in the end, it was the reigning seven-time World Champion Gilmore who got the win and kept her Final 5 aspirations alive.