Bianca Buitendag rides the best waves to beat surfing world champion

Bianca Buitendag

Dylan Bettencourt

It’s a stunning victory for Bianca Buitendag, South Africa’s only surfer at the Olympics, beating seven-time surfing world champion Stephanie Gilmore at the Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach. 

Buitendag scored 7.10 on the first wave and 6.83 on the second wave to give her a total of 13.93, beating her Australian opponent by 3.93 points in their round of 16 clash. 

“I felt absolutely no pressure,” said Buitendag.

“I’m the underdog. It takes away all the nerves and pressure.”

The 17th seed South African said her wave selection gave her the advantage over Gilmore. 

“In the ocean especially, you’ve got to give yourself the best chance. If you are on the smaller waves, that’s not going to happen,” she said.

Considering herself as the underdog could help her get further in the games. She will now face 9th seed Yolanda Hopkins of Portugal at 2:24am local time on Tuesday morning. 

Image source: @DailyMaverick