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Fierro wins Tahiti Pro to boost French Olympic medal hopes

Local wildcard Vahine Fierro won the Shisheido Tahiti Pro in pumping surf at her home break of Teahupo‘o on Wednesday, establishing herself as a favourite for gold when the Paris Olympics kick off at the same venue in two months.

Fierro, who is not on the top-tier world championship tour but has qualified to represent France at the Olympics, was unstoppable in the heaving tubes as waves reached heights of 4-5 meters.

“My body is so sore, I gave it my all, I ate it so many times,” an elated Fierro said after her win. “It’s just insane, thank you Teahupo‘o.”

Fierro easily won a lopsided quarterfinal against Australian charger Molly Picklum, and then squeaked through one of the heats of the year against Brazilian Olympian Tatitana Weston-Webb.

The lead changed several times as both women threw themselves over the ledge on the powerful waves, scoring deep barrels in between some heavy wipeouts.

Weston-Webb looked to have done enough with a perfect 10-point ride late in the heat for a late takeoff and huge tube described by broadcast commentators as the best wave ever caught in women’s surfing competition.

But, with seconds remaining, Fierro took off on another giant wall and got a long tube to secure the win.

“It’s really scary out there, but I just was so grateful to have the opportunity. Like, how often do we get these conditions? Especially for females,” said Weston-Webb.

“And obviously, we have the Olympics coming up, and it’s a really big goal of mine to do pretty well there. Vahine is amazing out here, and she inspires me.”

In the final against Costa Rican Olympic surfer and current world number one Brisa Hennessy, Fierro again caught the biggest and best waves, finishing with a 15.17 total out of 20 to claim the title.
Source: The Garden Island

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