Gilmore eyeing Paris after shock Oly loss

Stephanie Gilmore is already eyeing the 2024 Olympics after being eliminated in Tokyo.
Stephanie Gilmore is already eyeing the 2024 Olympics after being eliminated in Tokyo.

Stephanie Gilmore is already setting her sights on Paris 2024 after her first Olympic surfing campaign ended in disappointment, saying she's inspired by tennis veteran Serena Williams.

Australia's seven-time world champion hoped to add the first Olympic gold medal to her trophy haul but was surprisingly eliminated in the third round by unheralded South African Bianca Buitendag.

Despite her unrivalled experience, 33-year-old Gilmore rued a decision to cede wave priority to Buitendag, who used it to nail the best score of the clash.

Gilmore said it was tough to have to wait three years for another Olympic chance, but didn't think age would be an impediment, citing fellow star surfer Kelly Slater, who is 49, as well as 39-year-old Williams.

Slater dips in and out of the world tour while WIlliams, who has won 23 grand slam titles, qualified for the Olympics, but decided not to compete.

"This is the world's biggest sporting stage so you want to show up and do your very best so I'm super disappointed that I couldn't make it happen, but there's always Paris," Gilmore said.

"I'm only 33 and there's plenty of amazing female athletes who get up into their forties - look at Serena Williams, she's still doing so well so there's plenty of time.

"To come here and be an Olympian is obviously very special but to not get the result I wanted I'm already thinking 'What did I do wrong, what can I do better (and) how do I come back and try again'."

While Gilmore failed to perform in the inconsistent conditions at Japan's Tsurigasaki beach, the surfing at the Paris Olympics is set to be held in French overseas territory Tahiti, at famed surf break Teahupo'o.

Gilmore said while there were a lot of waves for her heat, there wasn't a lot of quality but her pickiness proved her undoing.

"There's a lot of waves but maybe not a lot of good ones," the current world tour No.5 said.

."But in saying that I probably got too picky.

"Bianca got a really nice wave on her six-point ride ... so I had that in my head for the rest of the heat.

"Just be patient and find one but yeah, in the end they weren't there."

Gilmore will return to the World Surf League in August, with the next stop Mexico as she chases a record-breaking eighth world title.

Australian Associated Press