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Surf title quest on ice as Gilmore loses

Australia world No.1 Stephanie Gilmore's tilt at a record-equalling seventh world surfing title has been delayed by a surprise defeat at the Roxy Pro in France.

Surf title quest on ice as Gilmore loses

Australia world No.1 Stephanie Gilmore's tilt at a record-equalling seventh world surfing title has been delayed by a surprise defeat at the Roxy Pro in France.

STEPHANIE GILMORE of Australia competes in the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach at Bells Beach in Melbourne, Australia.
STEPHANIE GILMORE of Australia competes in the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach at Bells Beach in Melbourne, Australia. Picture:Photo by Drew Ryan/Getty Images

Stephanie Gilmore's quest for a record-equalling seventh world surfing crown is on hold after the Australian's unexpected early exit from the Roxy Pro in France.

Gilmore would have joined compatriot Layne Beachley on seven titles had she won in the waves off Hossegor or at least banked enough points to surf beyond the reach of American Lakey Peterson, the only other tour member capable of winning the title.


However, Gilmore finished last in her third round heat with Courtney Conlogue and Malia Manuel and missed the quarter-finals on Thursday.

"It's the worst feeling in the world when you're trying so hard ... there's so much going on and there's so much pressure," Gilmore said.

She made a last-ditch bid to rule her heat when taking a wave with two minutes remaining.

Gilmore needed a score of 8.33 to progress but was awarded 8.27.

"In the beginning I missed a couple of opportunities when I had priority. I kept making mistakes and started stressing out a bit," she said.

"I got that one in the end. It was a good score and if I had one good turn at the end I might have got an 8.5. It was tough to swallow."

While Gilmore was frustrated to be eliminated, Peterson was also disappointed at her inability to narrow the gap after she also finished last in her heat with Coco Ho and Australian Bronte Macauley.

The title will now be decided in the final tour event in Maui next month.

"I'm not feeling too good. It was definitely a good opportunity for me to get in a good position going into Hawaii," Peterson said.

"I'm disappointed with my surfing, I didn't surf well. I've been a little bit sick and there was a couple of things I let get in my head too much."

Australia will still be represented in the quarter-finals by Macauley, who takes on Brazil's Tatiana Weston-Webb while Macy Callaghan is drawn against Hawaiian star Ho.

Carissa Moore and Manuel line-up in an all-Hawaiian clash while Conlogue faces Frenchwoman Johanne Defray.

AAP


AAP




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