Caption: 2014 WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) will hit the water in the opening heat of Men's Round 1 when the Oi Rio Pro gets underway next week.
SAQUAREMA, Rio de Janeiro/BRA (Thursday, May 4, 2017) - Saquarema is preparing to host the world’s best surfers for the upcoming Oi Rio Pro presented by Corona. The fourth stop on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) has relocated to Praia de Itaúna in the State of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil this season and the event runs from May 9th - 20th. Oi have renewed their support of the event for 2017 and will be the title sponsor of the Oi Rio Pro for the third year running.
Credit: © WSL / Smorgio
Expectations are high as the biggest stars in the surfing world are heading to Brazil to take part in event. The new location in Saquarema has been previously utilized by WSL Qualifying Series (QS) events and will now welcome the world’s best on the elite WSL CT for the first time since 2002.
The top names in the sport of surfing are confirmed to compete in Saquarema, including WSL Champions Kelly Slater (USA), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Adriano de Souza (BRA), John John Florence (HAW), Mick Fanning (AUS), Joel Parkinson (AUS), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Carissa Moore (HAW) and Tyler Wright (AUS). In addition to world champions Medina and De Souza, the Brazilian team will be backed up by Filipe Toledo, Caio Ibelli, Wiggolly Dantas, Miguel Pupo, Jadson André, rookie Ian Gouveia and Silvana Lima.
“The Oi Rio Pro is a fixture on our calendar of events in Rio de Janeiro and is a featured platform for major sporting tournaments connected to Oi, where surfing and skateboarding are our focus,” said Bruno Cremona, Sponsorship and Events Manager for Oi. “The company believes that sports shortens the gap between people, cultures and classes, while still being an important instrument in social transformation. That’s why Oi is always searching for initiatives through sports that promote an exchange between people. Sports inspire thousands of young people to change their lifestyles and contribute to making a more collective, inclusive and transformative society.”
“Oi feels that it is very important to support events of this size because it’s an ideal way to make a large-scale connection between different types of people, places, generations and the interaction with our youthful audience,” completed Bruno Cremona.
In addition to renewing its contract with Oi as the title sponsor, the event is presented by Corona and maintains continued support from the Rio de Janeiro State Government via the State Secretary for Sport, Youth and Leisure (Seelje). Additional support for the Oi Rio Pro is provided by the City of Saquarema, the Rio de Janeiro State Surfing Federation (FESERJ) and the Saquarema Surfing Association (ASS).
“Surfing is a triumph in Rio de Janeiro,” said Thiago Pampolha, the Rio de Janeiro State Secretary for Sport, Youth and Leisure. “Our state has beautiful beaches and excellent surfers. That’s why hosting the Brazilian event for the WSL is a gift for the State Secretary for Sport, Youth and Leisure. For Saquarema and the surrounding region, the contest will bring added prosperity as it will boost the economy, local commerce and intensify tourism in the area. We’re certain it will be another successful event.”
Italo Ferreira (BRA) has withdrawn from the Oi Rio Pro after an ankle injury suffered earlier this year. Ferreira's position has been filled by Nat Young (USA).
Malia Manuel (HAW) will not be competing at this event due to a knee injury suffered during the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro. Manuel will be replaced by by former CT competitor Bianca Buitendag (ZAF).
To apply for media accreditation to the event please complete the credential form on the WSL Press Room at WorldSurfLeague.com/Press-Room.
The press conference is confirmed for 3pm on Monday, May 8 at the Centro de Treinamento da CBV – Confederação Brasileira de Voleibol (Training Center for the Brazilian National Volleyball Teams) in Saquarema. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to attend.
A number of musical concerts are also confirmed as added attractions, including the popular band Capital Inicial headlining the event on May 13 in Saquarema.
The event will be broadcast LIVE via WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL app and on Facebook LIVE via the WSL's Facebook page. Also check the local listings for coverage on CBS Sports Network in the U.S., Fox Sports in Australia, ESPN in Brazil, Sky NZ in New Zealand, SFR Sports in France and Portugal and as part of the EDGEsport Network.
For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com.
Oi Rio Pro Men’s Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Frederico Morais (PRT), Ethan Ewing (AUS)
Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Nat Young (USA)
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 5: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Josh Kerr (AUS), Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 6: John John Florence (HAW), Jack Freestone (AUS), TBD
Heat 7: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Ian Gouveia (BRA)
Heat 8: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Connor O’Leary (AUS), Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Mick Fanning (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS)
Heat 10: Kelly Slater (USA), Conner Coffin (USA), Kanoa Igarashi (USA)
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Stuart Kennedy (AUS)
Heat 12: Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Julian Wilson (AUS), Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Oi Rio Women’s Pro Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Carissa Moore (HAW), Sage Erickson (USA), Laura Enever (AUS)
Heat 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Keely Andrew (AUS), TBD
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS), Coco Ho (HAW), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)
Heat 5: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Pauline Ado (FRA)
Heat 6: Johanne Defay (FRA), Lakey Peterson (USA), Silvana Lima (BRA)
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