AAP – Australian surfer Owen Wright has been denied the Tahiti Pro title with a last-gasp barrel ride from Brazilian Gabriel Medina.
Wright looked to have the final sewn up but a crucial final exchange on the last set of waves saw Medina snatch a 13.50 to 12.07 victory at Teahupo’o on Monday.
Holding priority, the 28-year-old Australian dived into a wave to stop the world No.3 from scoring and improved his lead with a 5.57 carving run.
But Medina scored a ride on the next wave, threading a clu’tch 7.33-barrel to steal the title in the final two minutes.
‘Teahupo’o’s always been nice to me, especially today,’ Medina told the World Surf League website.
‘(It) gives me the last one and I’m so happy to win here again.’
Medina punched the air and bellowed in jubilation when the final scores were read out as Wright slapped the water in disappointment.
Lennox Head’s son was left to rue his wave selection after the crushing loss.
‘I made the wrong decision, obviously,’ Wright said.
‘Sometimes these ones hit you, but they spur you on.’
The second-place finish lifts Wright from 11th to sixth in the WSL championship standings while Medina has moved above Australian Julian Wilson to world No.2 behind only compatriot Felipe Toledo.