Stephanie Gilmore wins the Oi Rio Women’s Pro and strengthens her world n°1 position
Photo: WSL / Poullenot
Saquarema, Rio de Janeiro/Brazil (Wednesday, May 16, 2018) – Today, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) won the Oi Rio Women’s Pro, Stop No. 4 on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), after a massive day of competition in four-to-five foot (1.2 – 1.5 metre) surf at Itaúna Beach in Saquarema.
Six-time WSL Champion Gilmore battled through four rounds today, taking down Lakey Peterson (USA) in the Final, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) in the Semifinals, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) in the Quarterfinals, and Caroline Marks (USA) in Round 3. Not only does Gilmore’s win mark her 28th CT victory but also her first CT win in Brazil.
“That was a really crucial Final because Lakey (Peterson) has had a win and I’ve had a win,” said Gilmore. “I just want it. I want it really bad and that is what it takes. It feels good. I just love competing. It is such a good challenge to be out there and to have this stage to perform on is really special. I’ve been doing this for a while but it never gets old. This is just the beginning.”
Despite the loss, Peterson is in a strong position to hunt down her first World Title this season. The Californian started her year with a big win on the Gold Coast and continues to raise the bar at each event. En route to her runner-up result, Peterson dispatched crowd-favorite Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) in the Semifinals and three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) in the Quarterfinals.
“A World Title is my goal,” said Peterson. “I am just trying to take it one event at a time. I feel like the momentum is working for me right now, but it is also working for Steph (Gilmore) right now. She is obviously in a great groove and she’s got an extra win on top of me, and I am aware of that. She’s such a phenomenal competitor and surfer.”