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Toledo nails WSL Finals spot in home surf

3 minute read

Brazil's Filipe Toledo has become the first person to qualify for the five-man World Surf League Finals with two events still remaining.

Brazilian ace Filipe Toledo has excelled in his home break to become the first qualifier for the five-man World Surf League finals showdown as the points race tightens for Australian contenders.

Top-ranked Toledo is into the semi-finals of the Oi Rio Pro which feature an all-Brazilian line up.

But even beforehand Toledo had secured enough points, with two events remaining, to clinch a spot in the WSL Final at Trestles in California in September when the world champion will be decided.

That was assured when his countryman Yago Dora eliminated Australia's world No.5 Ethan Ewing in the round of 16.

In another potentially costly Australian defeat, world No.2 Jack Robinson (11.67) was also ousted in the round of 16 by Brazil's Mateus Herdy (11.74), losing a desperately close heat after his buzzer-beater attempt came up just short.

A tour-record six Brazilians reached the quarter-finals and Toledo advanced to set up a clash with Dora in one semi-final while fellow countrymen Samuel Pupo and world No.4 Italo Ferreira meet in the other.

Dora also accounted for Australia's world No.8 Callum Robson in the quarters while Toledo took out Australian No.13 Connor O'Leary.

With a win and three runner-up finishes at the last five events before Rio, Toledo has stamped himself as a huge title threat.

"It's crazy. After all the events and the results, the hard work, leaving my family behind, all the things I've had to sacrifice, I'm over the moon," Toledo said of reaching the WSL Finals.

"This is what we want, this is our first goal, and getting the news here in Brazil is just incredible.

"It's all just very emotional now. I rarely get the chance to be at an event with my wife and kids, so to have them here with me and clinch a spot in the Final 5 means a lot."

The women's semi-finals are also still to be decided after a day off in their competition.

France's Johanne Defay faces Hawaiian Gabriela Bryan in one semi while Carissa Moore meets Brazil's Tatiana Weston-Webb in the other.

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