‘Hero to zero’: world champion Stephanie Gilmore suffers shock early exit at Pipeline

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Eight-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore felt for illustration she went from “hero to zero” aft suffering a daze early exit astatine nan hands of 2 American teenagers astatine Pipeline.

Gilmore was thrust into nan elimination information aft posting a two-wave full of conscionable 2.8 successful her opening power successful Hawaii. It meant nan 35-year-old Australian needed to decorativeness successful nan apical 2 of her three-person elimination power successful nan 2nd round, and she recovered herself successful past spot pinch 5 minutes remaining against Americans Caitlin Simmers and Alyssa Spencer.

Gilmore required a people of 3.03 to move into 2nd spot up of 19-year-old wounded replacement Spencer, but her effort to propulsion disconnected a tube pinch conscionable 2 minutes remaining came unstuck erstwhile nan activity collapsed connected apical of her. It meant 17-year-old rookie Simmers won nan power pinch a people of 12.67 up of Spencer (6.63), pinch Gilmore (6.43) eliminated.

“It’s funny, I consciousness for illustration I’ve gone from leader to zero,” defending world champion Gilmore said. “Surfing has a measurement of keeping you humble, that’s for sure. Caity [Simmers] did really well, she sat and waited, and sewage 2 really bully waves. But that’s nan sport, that’s nan measurement it is, and there’s nary amended information than to person a shocker and want to travel backmost better.”

The consequence is by nary intends a disaster for Gilmore, arsenic she proved past year, erstwhile she missed nan 2022 Pipeline arena aft being forced into quarantine. She recovered from that to decorativeness 5th successful nan wide rankings and sneak into nan season-ending finals. Gilmore past won 5 consecutive heats to declare a celebrated world title.

American Courtney Conlogue was different high-profile unfortunate of nan elimination round, arsenic Simmers and Spencer had their dream runs ended successful nan information of 16. Two-time world champion Tyler Wright moved into nan quarter-finals aft defeating chap Australian Sally Fitzgibbons successful their information of 16 battle. Wright posted a two-wave full of 10.24 to hit Fitzgibbons (7.27), mounting up a quarter-final showdown against prima Brazilian Tatiana Weston-Webb.

Two-time world champion Tyler Wright of Australia astatine Pipeline.
Two-time world champion Tyler Wright of Australia astatine Pipeline. Photograph: Tony Heff/World Surf League/Getty Images

Molly Picklum became nan 2nd Australian into nan last-eight aft she hit countrywoman Isabella Nichols successful nan information of 16. Picklum will return connected five-time world champion Carissa Moore successful nan quarterfinals.

Defending Pipeline champion and section favourite Moana Jones Wong was sent packing successful nan information of 16 by American Lakey Peterson. Peterson will look disconnected against Costa Rica’s Brisa Hennessy erstwhile action resumes, while nan 4th quarter-final will beryllium an all-Hawaiian showdown betwixt Gabriela Bryan and Bettylou Sakura Johnson.

All 7 Australian men, led by world No 3 Jack Robinson, made it done to nan 3rd information connected Thursday, but location was nary further action for nan men connected Friday.

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