RYAN CALLINAN THRUST INTO WORLD TITLE RACE

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Newcastle wildcard Ryan Callinan may well decide surfing’s world title race.

Having won his first round heat against Owen Wright in Portugal, he’ll now take on Gabriel Medina… who’s locked in a three-way tussle for the crown with fellow Brazillian Felipe Toledo and Australia’s Julian Wilson.

“Yeah it’s awesome. I came here for two weeks and i’ve been here for over a month now.” Callinan said.

“It looks like i’m going to be staying a little longer. It’s been an amazing trip, it’s really overwhelming but really cool.”

All three world title contenders survived their opening heats overnight.

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