Runner-up Wright surges into top 10
AUSTRALIAN Owen Wright has fallen just short of his first win of the 2018 season but has returned to world surfing's top 10 with his second to former world champion Gabriel Medina at the Tahiti Pro.
The two former winners of the annual event at Teahupo'o were the form surfers on the final day of the contest early Monday.
In a close battle for the top prize, Medina edged Wright 13.50 to 12.07 for the world tour event title.
"It's a sting but it's just nice to be back in the final," Wright said.
"Right now, it's a hard loss to take a second but it's been an incredible week.
"It all came down to those last two waves. I made the wrong decision and I'm already feeling that deep burn and drive.
"I'm stoked for Gabby, well-deserved win for him after it got taken off him by Julian (Wilson) just last year."
The second place saw Wright fly up the rankings from 11th place to sixth overall.
It also left Wright wanting more as he put his world title campaign back on track after illness forced him to miss the J-Bay Open in South Africa last month.
"A second does help sometimes. It can give you fuel," Wright said.
Brazilian Felipe Toledo retains the No.1 spot on the world rankings with Medina moving to second place ahead of Australian Julian Wilson, who made a shock second-round exit at Tahiti.
Wade Carmichael, who Wright beat in Monday's quarter-finals, is now ranked fifth with Wright sixth.
All three Australians are still within reach of the 2018 world title