IN ACTION: Julian Wilson of Australia will surf in round five of the Outerknown Fiji Pro after placing second in heat one of round four at Cloudbreak.
IN ACTION: Julian Wilson of Australia will surf in round five of the Outerknown Fiji Pro after placing second in heat one of round four at Cloudbreak. Kelly Cestari

Wilson forced into elimination clash at Fiji Pro

SURFING: Julian Wilson was expected to resume his quest for the world title on Thursday after a tough clash with compatriot Matt Wilkinson at the Fiji Pro on Wednesday.

After a string of lay days at the event, the 28-year-old managed a score of 13.93 in his non-elimination three-man round-four heat.

The effort staved off Brazil's Ian Gouveia (10.40) but was not quite good enough to beat Wilkinson (14.27), who also fared well at the event in 2016.

"Before last year I'd never really had a big result here (so) to get to that final last year was a pretty good confidence boost for me for this year," he said.

Meanwhile, Wilson was pitched into a do-or-die round five against Brazilian Italo Ferreira, to be held early on Thursday, conditions permitting.

He's 13th in the standings after four of 11 events on the Championship Tour, after finishing 2016 as the sixth-best surfer on the planet.

Meanwhile, Australian rookie Connor O'Leary edged through his round four heat against fellow tour freshman Joan Duru, of France, and ex-Caloundra grommet and 2012 world champion Joel Parkinson (AUS).

Tahiti's Michel Bourez continued his flawless run through the event by beating Italian Leonardo Fioravanti and Ferreira. Australian Bede Durbidge won the other heat, ahead of compatriot Stuart Kennedy and Hawaii's Sebastian Zietz .


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