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Mick Fanning struggles in surfing comeback event

Mick Fanning’s world title hopes have taken a hit after being eliminated in round three of the Billabong Pro in Tahiti by lowly-ranked Spaniard Aritz Aranburu.

In his first event since he was attacked by a shark at Jeffrey’s Bay in South Africa, the Australian couldn’t get going in four-foot surf at the iconic Tahitian reef break of Teahupo’o on Tuesday.

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It was a convincing win for 39th-ranked Aranburu, who shot out to an early advantage with wave scores of 7.00 and 8.17 to easily account for Fanning’s best of 5.17 and 1.50.

It was a huge missed chance for Fanning to go to the top of the championship standings after rankings leader, Brazilian Adriano De Souza, was eliminated in the third-round heat just before Fanning’s defeat.

 

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