Australians dominate last waves at Barra da Tijuca

May 16, 2012 | Surfing
Josh Kerr: daily job in Barra da Tijuca

Barra da Tijuca and its powerful three-to-five foot (1-1.5 metre) barrels provided the ideal canvas for the world's best surfers to push the limits of high-performance beachbreak surfing.

It's quarterfinals time and Australia is the leading nation with one surfer in each heat fighting for victory at the 2012 Billabong Pro Rio. Joel Parkinson, Mick Fanning, Julian Wilson and Josh Kerr.

Adriano de Souza posted the event’s only perfect 10-point ride for a critical forehand barrel ride. De Souza went on to take a Round 5 win in a rematch of last year’s final, topping Taj Burrow, in a tough battle to advance to the Quarterfinals.

“I was focused on the right, but I knew there was a little channel and I went over to the left,” De Souza said. “Luck is really going my way and I’m stoked. The waves were really hard and I’m stoked to make it through this heat.”

De Souza admitted that advancing to the Quarterfinals alleviates some of the pressure that came along with competing as defending Billabong Rio Pro champion and is hoping to carry the momentum into the Final day of competition.

John John Florence took an amazing come-from-behind victory in his Round 4 heat to advance to the Quarterfinals. In need of two scores to overtake Julian Wilson, Florence drove through a lengthy barrel for a 9.63 to take him out of a combination situation before finding another barrel in the dying seconds, earning 8.10 for the ride and claiming victory.

Alejo Muniz was responsible for two big heat victories today. The young Brazilian bested fellow countryman Heitor Alves, in Round 3 and went on to topple Australian icons Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson in Round 4 to advance directly to the Quarterfinals.

Tiago Pires continued to find success in the challenging surf at Barra da Tijuca, besting Tahitian charger Michel Bourez and Jordy Smith, in their three-man non-elimination Round 4 bout to advance directly to the Quarterfinals.

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