Fitzgibbons wins Rio Pro final to claim world No.1 ranking

Rio de Janeiro: Australian Sally Fitzgibbons is the new world No.1 after beating Carissa Moore in the final of World Surf League's Rio Pro in Brazil.

New world No.1 Sally Fitzgibbons.

New world No.1 Sally Fitzgibbons.Credit:AAP

The 28-year-old prevailed 14.64 to 12.57 over the Hawaiian former world champion in clean 4-5 foot surf at the beachbreak of Saquarema on Sunday.

The win, Fitzgibbons' first since the 2017 Margaret River Pro, adds to her three other podium finishes this season to give her the yellow jersey and put her world title contention at the halfway point.

Both she and Moore have overtaken reigning world champion Stephanie Gilmore, who was eliminated by the Hawaiian in the semi-finals, on the table.


"It feels pretty delightful," Fitzgibbons said.

"Just coming in and receiving that welcome back to the beach, that was insane, and some of my mates cheering me up the beach and a big hug from my dad.

"And I know my mum's watching out there with all my family and friends, and just the team that had my back, so it's all part of the process and they've all chipped in and it's pretty cool to be standing here."

The Gerroa local said it didn't feel "surreal" to be in the leaders' jersey heading into the mid-season J-Bay event in South Africa on July 9-22.

"It's all incremental things and experiences, they just accumulate. When I'm out in the water I just feel so free," Fitzgibbon said.

The final started slowly with a lull starving the pair of set waves and Fitzgibbons attacking two smaller waves, with an attempted aerial on the second, but she fell on both to log a total of 1.67.

With Moore holding priority, the Australian chipped away on the inside and managed to put together two snaps for a score of 4.83 on her fourth wave.

She backed it up by stalling into a small tube but the Hawaiian immediately dropped into a large set wave and stalled into a bigger barrel of her own.

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