Brazilian surfing champ Adriano de Souza to retire


Sao Paulo (AFP)

Brazilian surfer Adriano de Souza, the 2015 world champion, announced Wednesday he would retire from the sport at the end of the 2021 season.

De Souza, 33, is one of the best-known athletes of the "Brazilian Storm," the tidal wave of talented surfers that have emerged from the South American country in recent years.

"After 15 years on the world circuit, you get a little tired. Each year gets harder," he told a virtual press conference.

"2021 will be my last year as a professional."

A compact 1.67 meters (5-foot-5), De Souza dazzled his way to the world title in 2015, becoming the second Brazilian to win it, after Gabriel Medina the year before.

Current world champ Italo Ferreira also hails from Brazil.

De Souza missed qualifying for the Olympics in Tokyo, losing out to Ferreira and Medina. The Games rescheduled for 2021 will be the first to feature surfing.