- 08 May 2012 | Surfing
Kelly Slater will not be surfing the Billabong Rio Pro 2012 following a heel injury sustained in Java, Indonesia. "I injured the inside of my left heel in Java and then re-opened it again the following week at Cloudbreak," Slater said.
"It became infected and I flew to Australia to get it treated and stitched in hopes of making it to Rio, if not for Round 1, at least for Round 2. I’ve been in the water since getting it stitched and while I can go straight, I can’t do turns at all right now so I’ll have to pull out of Rio", added the Floridian.
"It’s unfortunate, but I’m just going to focus on healing up as soon as possible right now. Good luck to all the competitors in Brazil and I’ll be watching online". Slater has been replaced by Willian Cardoso.
With Slater's withdrawal, the current frontrunner spot on the ASP WCT ratings is up for grabs in Rio de Janeiro. Event wildcards for the Billabong Rio Pro are Tomas Hermes and Peterson Crisanto.
Dusty Payne has also withdrawn from the Billabong Rio Pro, citing an ankle injury that has kept him out of the water all season. Payne will be replaced by fellow Hawaiian Frederick Patacchia.
Billabong Rio Pro Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Josh Kerr (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF), C.J. Hobgood (USA), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS), Raoni Monteiro (BRA), Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Kai Otton (AUS), Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 5: Taj Burrow (AUS), Kieren Perrow (AUS), Tomas Hermes (BRA)
Heat 6: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Peterson Crisanto (BRA)
Heat 7: Julian Wilson (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 8: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 9: Mick Fanning (AUS), Damien Hobgood (USA), Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 10: Michel Bourez (PYF), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Heitor Alves (BRA), Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 12: John John Florence (HAW), Alejo Muniz (BRA), Adam Melling (AUS)