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20-Year-Old Wildcard Defeats 3 Former World Champions at Rio Pro

It's clear that the story of this week's Oi Rio Pro has been Brazilian upstart Yago Dora. After winning the highly competitive trials event, the 20-year-old goofy footer gained entry to his first Championship Tour event and set his sights on dethroning some of surfing's giants.

Dora first started to make headlines, as he took down World No. 4 Kolohe Andino in the second round. But it was his round three win that handed reigning World Champion John John Florence his earliest loss of the season, and really stoked up the hometown crowd.

PHOTO: © WSL / Smorigo

Yet without a doubt, the highlight of his run came in his Round Five heat with Brazilian legend Gabriel Medina. Dora went huge sending a flawless air reverse in the final seconds of the heat that would prove to be too much for Medina. But the young Brazilians run didn't stop there as he took down yet another former World Champion, Mick Fanning, to earn him a spot in the semis where his run fell just short of the eventual Rio Pro Champion Adriano de Souza.

Yago Dora's cinderella story run surely puts into question how long it will be until he's a mainstay on the Championship Tour stage. With his No. 3 ranking on the QS stage, it could be as early as next year. But I think it's fair to say the young Brazilian sent a message and a star was born in Rio.  

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Stab Mag Flew an Illegal Drone to Capture Footage of the WSL’s Wave Pool Event
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