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By Chesney Hearst, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Australian surfer Tyler Wright beat fellow Australian and last year’s defending Rio women’s event champion, Sally Fitzgibbons, to take home the Colgate Plax Girls Rio Pro 2013 victory on Saturday, May 11th in Barra da Tijuca. “This feels pretty good,” Wright told the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP).

Wright Wins Colgate Plax Girls Rio Pro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil newsq
Australian Tyler Wright won the Colgate Plax Girls Rio Pro advancing her to the number one position on the Women’s 2013 ASP WCT, photo by ASP/ Kirstin.

“This whole event has been stepping stones for me. […] After I lost that Round Three heat I just wanted to catch waves and I stayed busy from then on. It’s just the way it worked out. I just love catching waves. I just kept building and building and I wouldn’t want it any other way. This is just fantastic to come to Rio, I love it.”

The quarterfinal action started the final day of competition for Women’s World ASP Championship Tour (WCT) early in Barra da Tijuca. Fitzgibbons, Hawaii’s Carissa Moore, Wright and WCT rookie Bianca Buitendag emerged as the victorious four to make their way to the semifinal round.

There, Fitzgibbons outscored the number one ranked Moore, while Wright bested Buitendag with an impressive barrel ride and aerial maneuvers.

In the final, Wright built on her momentum, powering through to defeat Fitzgibbons with a score of 17.80 to Fitzgibbons’ 15.67.

Saturday marked Wright’s first ever victory in Brazil and her second win of the 2013 WCT season. Her first victory was in March during the season opener, the Roxy Pro in Gold Coast, Australia. Yesterday’s win also advances Wright to the number one position on the Women’s 2013 ASP WCT.

“It’s awesome to move to the top of the rankings, but I’m honestly not thinking about the World Title,” Wright said. “I’m just having fun surfing and enjoying each event and we’ll see what happens at the end of the year.”

There are still two more events to go for the women before the 2013 champion is announced. The surfers will move on to Biarritz, France for the Roxy Pro on July 10th – 14th and then on to the tentatively scheduled last competition, the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, California, U.S. on July 22nd – 28th.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.

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