Wilson edges up world surf rankings as de Souza celebrates
SURFING: Julian Wilson picked up a few valuable spots on the world tour rankings following the Oi Rio Pro in Brazil, where Adriano de Souza captured victory in his homeland.
Wilson claimed ninth place at the event - which is fourth on the 11-stop circuit - to climb three places up the standings to 13th.
He was beaten by South Africa's Jordy Smith 15.70 to 5.13 in round five.
His South American leg may not have been the break-though performance fans were hoping for. With a pair of ninths and a brace of 13ths this season, the 28-year-old is yet to produce the sort of form which has seen him finish two seasons within the top six and claim two event wins.
But it was enough to keep the Sunshine Coaster in title contention.
For de Souza, it was a memorable triumph.
He snared his seventh title on the sport's big stage - but his first in almost two years - with a 17.63 to 17.23 margin over Australian Adrian Buchan.
"It has been a while since I have stepped onto the podium," he said in an event press release.
"But I have been working for so long to be here. I am so grateful for all the support, especially all the fans here in Brazil. You can count on me because I am back in the game."
He moved to second place on the series leaderboard, behind Hawaii's John John Florence.
Buchan reached his first final for four years to move up to 12th in the standings.
"I think the surfing we've seen in the last ten days has been incredible and has shown the world that Brazil has great waves and incredible surfers," he said.
Event wildcard and Brazilian Yago Dora burst on to the international scene by beating three ex-world champions, in Mick Fanning, Gabriel Medina and Florence, before losing to de Souza in the semi-finals.
The next stop on the men's Championship Tour will be the Fiji Pro from June 4.
It's a venue Wilson has fared relatively well at, having reached the final there two years ago.
On that occasion, he fell victim to a rampant Owen Wright, who snared two perfect 10-point rides in a stunning display.
WSL leaderboard (after Oi Rio Pro)
1 - John John Florence (HAW) 24,750 points
2 - Jordy Smith (ZAF) 24,400 points
2 - Adriano de Souza (BRA) 24,400 points
2 - Owen Wright (AUS) 24,400 points
5 - Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 16,750 points
*13 - Julian Wilson (AUS) 11,500