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France’s Fierro wins Tahiti Pro to boost French Olympic medal hopes

REUTERS/THOMAS BEVILACQUA
                                France’s Vahine Fierro celebrates winning the women’s final.
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REUTERS/THOMAS BEVILACQUA

France’s Vahine Fierro celebrates winning the women’s final.

REUTERS/THOMAS BEVILACQUA
                                France’s Vahine Fierro during the women’s final.
2/2
Swipe or click to see more

REUTERS/THOMAS BEVILACQUA

France’s Vahine Fierro during the women’s final.

REUTERS/THOMAS BEVILACQUA
                                France’s Vahine Fierro celebrates winning the women’s final.
REUTERS/THOMAS BEVILACQUA
                                France’s Vahine Fierro during the women’s final.

Local wildcard Vahine Fierro won the Shisheido Tahiti Pro in pumping surf at her home break of Teahupo’o on Wednesday, establishing herself as favorite for Olympic gold when the Paris 2024 Games kicks 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 four to five meters on finals day.

Fierro easily won a lopsided quarter-final 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 but, with seconds remaining, Fierro got a long tube and secured the win.

In the final against Costa Rican Olympic surfer and current world No. 1 Brisa Hennessy, Fierro again caught the biggest and best waves, finishing with a 15.17 total out of 20 to claim the title.

“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.”

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