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Monday 18 May 2015 | Published in Regional


RIO DE JANEIRO – New Zealand surfer Richard “Ricardo” Christie’s giant-killing run at the Rio Pro event in Brazil was stymied in the quaterfinals – where he was beaten decisively by the eventual winner.

Christie may have stopped a riot on the beach by losing to local surfing hero Filipe Toledo.

Toledo went on to win in the final against Australia’s Bede Durbidge.

Making the quarterfinals was Christie’s best result on the World Surf League tour.

Earlier, Christie knocked off world No. 1 Adriano de Souzo in the third round in Rio de Janeiro after defeating leading title contender Jordy Smith, of South Africa, in the second.

The Mahia surfer progressed to the quarterfinal after winning his fifth-round repechage against Australian Matt Banting, but world No. 3 Toledo had too many guns in the quarterfinal.

It wasn’t an impossible task though – Christie earlier toppled Toledo in the second round at the Margaret River Pro in Western Australia – but this time the Brazilian’s total of 15.00, from 8.33 and 6.67 wave scores, bettered Christie by 3.50 points after he scored a 4.00 and 7.50 for a total of 11.50.

The quarterfinal spotlight in Rio has given Christies rookie campaign a much needed boost.

He earlier looked to be struggling with the levels required on the elite championship circuit, bowing out in the second round in the Billabong Pro on the Gold Coast and at Bells Beach in Victoria at the Rip Curl Pro – before suddenly kicking his competition game into gear at Margaret River and now in Rio.