Gabriel Medina: happy to beat Florence | Photo: Robertson/WSL

In one of the most exciting heats of the 2015 Billabong Pro Tahiti, Gabriel Medina eliminated John John Florence from the competition. An 18.84 heat total was not enough for the Hawaiian.

It was crazy. Medina and Florence went head-to-head in the three-to-five-foot surf at Teahupoo knowing that only one could advance through to Round 4. The Brazilian started well; John John Florence reconquered the lead, and then Gabriel sealed the deal with a 9.73.

"I was really excited before the heat and kind of scared too. John John is one of the best out here, and he's my favorite surfer. That was a good battle, and we both got a few nines. I'm stoked to get barreled; the waves were amazing, and it's great to make one more heat," explained Medina.

"I knew it would be a tough heat though and my dad told me not to worry about high scores, just to focus and keep doing what you're doing. It's good to be making heats again after a lot of loss at the beginning of the year. I love this wave, and I'm looking for a good result here."

In an all-Brazilian affair, Bruno Santos sent Adriano de Souza home early. The 2008 event winner proved he is a dangerous opponent in the Tahitian barrels.

"I was really excited and that heat was amazing. I'm very happy now but sad at the same time because Adriano is a good friend of mine, and I really want to see him with the title at the end of the year," explained Santos.

But the shocking exits would continue. Aritz Aranburu defeated Mick Fanning and the Australian will not be able to steal the leader jersey from Adriano de Souza.

"I was lucky enough that I got that good one at the beginning.“Everything went my way because I got those two waves, and there wasn't much other scoring potential. Having Mick (Fanning) in my heat I knew that any mistake would cost me so I was just trying to play smart, and it went well, so I'm happy," concluded Aranburu.

Billabong Pro Tahiti 2015 | Round 3 Results:

Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.97 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 12.50
Kai Otton (AUS) 13.13 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.00
Owen Wright (AUS) 18.23 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 15.70
Italo Ferreira (BRA) 16.10 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.83
Gabriel Medina (HAW) 19.00 def. John John Florence (HAW) 18.84
Bruno Santos (BRA) 16.20 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.70
Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 15.17 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 6.67
Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 16.83 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 8.66

Upcoming Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 3 Match-Ups:

Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)

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