Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Aussie Fanning wins surfing world title - NineMSN - 7th November 2007

Mick Fanning has become the first Australian to win the men's surfing world title in eight years at the Santa Catarina Pro in Brazil on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old secured the world crown following the elimination of rivals Kelly Slater and Taj Burrow in the fourth round and quarter-finals respectively at the tour event in South America.

Having picked up the nation's first men's title since Mark Occhilupo in 1999, Fanning went on to claim the event by edging out countryman Kai Otton in the final.

The Gold Coaster has been ultra-consistent this year, reaching the semi-final in eight of the nine rounds.

He has finished third behind eight-time champion Slater in the title race for the past two seasons before finally trumping the American master this time around.

Fanning has been at the front of the pack since his rookie year in 2002, only missing a top-five finish on one occasion.

That was in 2004 when he missed most of the year due to severe hamstring injury from a freak wipeout in Indonesia that almost brought a premature end to his career.

He completely tore the hamstring and tendons from his bone and was left with a softball sized lump of muscle below his backside.

He endured an eight-hour boat trip and three-day journey without painkillers - and even had to bribe Indonesian immigration - just to get home.

The final event on the world tour is the Pipeline Masters in Hawaii from December 8-20.

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