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Australia's Olympic surfers welcome Teahupo'o challenge

3 minute read

Leading Australians Jack Robinson and Molly Picklum are hoping the Olympic surf venue of Tahiti's Teahupo'o lives up to its fearsome reputation.

Leading Australian surfers Jack Robinson and Molly Picklum both believe they will be in the gold medal mix, applauding the decision to hold this year's Olympic surfing event at Tahiti's Teahupo'o.

While their Olympic teammates gather for the Games in Paris, the four-strong Australian surfing team will be almost 16,000km away competing at the French outpost, with the event scheduled to get underway from July 27.

The four - including Ethan Ewing and Tyler Wright - are currently in Tahiti, preparing for the World Surf League event, where current world No.2 Robinson will defend his title.

Both Robinson and Picklum have been training in some heavy swell with Australia's top-ranked male describing the waves as an "eight or 10 storey building breaking over a four foot reef".

Robinson said it was perfect to showcase their sport after some limp conditions at the Tokyo Games, where retired Owen Wright won bronze.

"It's just the most insane arena, Robinson said in a teleconference on Tuesday from Teahupo'o.

"Any event we have out here it's so exhilarating, it's the most adrenaline-filled line-up, it's pretty incredible.

"We need the best wave as we're surfers, we rely on the ocean, so it's really cool that we having it here.

"It's going to be really exciting for everybody watching and it's going to really elevate surfing to a new level."

Asked if he was a gold medal chance the West Australian replied: "For sure, definitely, we're working our way towards that.

"I have confidence everywhere we go but this is an extra special one because it's in Tahiti, it's not just any Olympics.

"It's so special because I've been coming here for so long."

Ranked world No.3 Picklum is a proven performer in big waves, winning at Hawaii's Sunset Beach earlier this year and finishing runner-up at Pipeline.

If mother nature produces some swell during the 10-day Games window Picklum fancies her chances.

"It's definitely exciting - we've seen that it's potentially one of my strengths that I'm willing to kind of give it a go and get over the edge of some of these waves," the 21-year-old from NSW said.

"Hopefully it is a wave of consequence when the Olympics comes around but at end of the day I want to win gold and if it's small and we're just going to be doing turns, I'm pretty eager to do whatever to get the medal.

"Every time I come back here I feel more ready and I feel like I have awareness and education and the confidence and belief that I can bring home gold for sure.

"If there's anywhere that I can say that I really want to bring home gold it would be at an event like Tahiti and Teahupo'o, wearing the Australian flag.

"I can't express enough how much I'm going to be trying."

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