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Aussie Steph Gilmore becomes the greatest female surfer of all time as she makes history by taking her eighth world title
- Gilmore won her first world title in 2007 and made history at the age of 34
- Aussie took the crown at Lower Trestles in Southern California on Thursday
- She entered the event as the number 5 seed and won five consecutive heats
Australian Stephanie Gilmore has made surfing history, becoming the first woman to win eight world titles.
Gilmore defeated Hawaiian great Carissa Moore, the defending champion, in two heats to nil at Southern California’s Lower Trestles on Thursday.
It was a dream match-up between Gilmore and Moore, the five-time world champion.
Gilmore was in tears as she won the second moto in the best-of-three final with 15.23 to 11.97, after knocking out the opening moto with 15.00 to 10.90.
The Australian great now has one more world title than compatriot Layne Beachley.
After a shaky start, Gilmore stormed through the top-five final day on Thursday, winning four games to claim the world title.
Gilmore presided at the beach after her historic win in Southern California’s Lower Trestles on Thursday
The Aussie won five straight heats to reach the final, beating five-time champion Carissa Moore to secure her eighth crown
It was Gilmore’s first world title since 2018.
While Gilmore shone, compatriots Ethan Ewing and Jack Robinson fell for Brazilian Italo Ferreira, who took on compatriot Filipe Toledo to decide the men’s world title.
Gilmore easily defeated Johanne Defay of France 16.83 to 10.53, putting her in the title decider against Moore.
But she had to come from behind to win her first two matches.
After her opening win over Costa Rican Brisa Hennessy, Gilmore narrowly defeated Brazilian Tatiana Weston-Webb.
With just 40 seconds left, Gilmore posted a 6.83 for a heat total of 14.76 to knock out Hennessy, who scored 14.33.
Gilmore was also behind Weston-Webb, but took the lead with 10 minutes to go.
Weston-Webb needed a 7.31 to beat Gilmore and they exchanged waves in the last two minutes.
The Brazilian scored a 6.8 and with that Gilmore won 15.30 to 14.87.
Gilmore, the number 5 seed, struggled against Hennessy early on with a few falls.
Gilmore (picture celebrating her world title win) was the No. 5 seed to go to the event
Gilmore won two consecutive heats in the best-of-three final to declare herself the best female surfer the world has ever seen
Hennessy took the lead in the clean two meter conditions with golf scores of 7.0 and 7.33 and led Gilmore with 14.33 to 6.67.
But with 12 minutes to go, the Australian scored a 7.93 to put herself back in the game.
Gilmore needed a 6.40 to win and was not a priority in the last two minutes.
The judges then called a blockade against Hennessy, which was crucial to the Australian advantage and she took the full toll.
With Hennessy failing to catch the wave directly behind her, within the last minute Gilmore produced a drive that left no doubt that she would knock out the match.
The 34-year-old had an emotional moment in the surf as the magnitude of her performance kicked in
In the five-men final, Ferreira first defeated Japan’s Konoa Igarashi and then knocked out Ewing 13.10 to 11.83.
Ferreira was also too good for Robinson, beating him from 4.30pm to 1.30pm.
The two Brazilians then had the heat of the day, with Toledo winning 15.13 to 14.97 to take the lead by one.
Ferreira won the 2019 world title, while Toledo has never claimed the crown.
Brazilians have won five of the last seven world titles since Mick Fanning became the most recent Australian champion in 2013.