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Sport World champ Gilmore leads powerhouse Aussie Olympic surf team

05:35  11 june  2021
05:35  11 june  2021 Source:   afp.com

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Seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore and current world number two Sally Fitzgibbons spearhead a powerhouse Australian team announced Friday gunning for gold on the sport's Olympic debut in Tokyo. They are joined on the men's side by multiple World Surf League (WSL) tour "Now we're competing as a team , if anything it will push us to even greater success, to support each other and have that on the world stage." Fitzgibbons heads into the event at Tsurigasaki Beach in Chiba, east of Tokyo, on a hot streak of form. She won the most recent WSL tour event at Rottnest Island in

Seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore spearheads Australia's Olympic surf team . Sydney (AFP) - Seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore and current world number two Sally Fitzgibbons spearhead a powerhouse Australian team announced Friday gunning for gold on the sport’s Olympic debut in Tokyo. They are joined on the men’s side by multiple World Surf League (WSL) tour winners Julian Wilson and Owen Wright as they look to shine a spotlight on their profession.

Seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore and current world number two Sally Fitzgibbons spearhead a powerhouse Australian team announced Friday gunning for gold on the sport's Olympic debut in Tokyo.

a man riding a wave on a surfboard in the ocean: Seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore spearheads Australia's Olympic surf team © SONNY TUMBELAKA Seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore spearheads Australia's Olympic surf team

They are joined on the men's side by multiple World Surf League (WSL) tour winners Julian Wilson and Owen Wright as they look to shine a spotlight on their profession.

"Seeing surfing in the Olympics will hopefully let up-and-coming junior surfers realise a new dream that they can go out there and hopefully win a medal for the country," said Gilmore.

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SURFING : Six World Surf League (WSL) Aussie superstars will represent the nation at this year’s International Surfing Association (ISA) World Surfing Games after Team Australia named Ryan Callinan, Nikki Van Dijk, Sally Fitzgibbons, Stephanie Gilmore , Julian Wilson and Owen Wright in what is the strongest Aussie team ever assembled for the event. The 2019 ISA World Surfing Games forms part of the criteria for Olympic qualification as Tokyo 2020 and Surfing ’s debut looms larger than ever with powerhouse nations Brazil, the United States and Australia to use the event hosted by Miyazaki

Australian surfers Stephanie Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons will have to wait until next May for confirmation they have been selected for the Tokyo Olympics , despite satisfying the qualification criteria. "It's a bit of a technicality as their performances at the World Surfing Games won't influence whether they make the team or not," he said. Mr Mater said the 18 reserved spots for the top surfers on the WSL Championship Tour would guarantee that the world 's best surfers would compete in Tokyo.

"Now we're competing as a team, if anything it will push us to even greater success, to support each other and have that on the world stage."

Fitzgibbons heads into the event at Tsurigasaki Beach in Chiba, east of Tokyo, on a hot streak of form.

She won the most recent WSL tour event at Rottnest Island in Western Australia then claimed victory at ISA World Surfing Games in El Salvador this month.

"I used to draw the Olympic rings on myself back in school -- to have the rings on my shirt now, to have it legit is so cool," she said.

"It's been a long journey but being there in Tokyo will feel all the more special. I'm going to give it my all, I want to compete for my country, fly that flag and hopefully come home with a gold medal."

Australia's surfing team named themselves "The Irukandjis", after a deadly species of jellyfish that menaces the country's tropical northern waters.

Surfing will make its Olympic debut in Japan as part of efforts to attract a younger audience to watch the Games.

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