An emotional Sally Fitzgibbons has broken down in tears after a heartbreaking defeat in the quarterfinals of the women’s surfing at the Tokyo Olympics.
Tsuzuki and Fitzgibbons, a medal contender, traded two-section waves in the quarterfinal but the Japanese competitor’s cleaner exits proved the difference in scoring, prevailing 13.27 to the Aussie’s 11.67.
Speaking to Channel 7 after the loss, Fitzgibbon struggled to contain her emotions.
“It hurts so bad,” she said.
“This one probably the toughest loss of my career.
“Yeah, I wanted do it so bad for… For my teammates and my country and… It didn’t happen today. Man, I had the best time.
Fitzgibbons said it just wasn’t her day.
My heart is just shattered.
“I was looking to get scores on the board. Mix up the rhythms. Tsuzuki this is
her home town.”
The 30-year-old said she hoped to be an inspiration for young girls in Australia and around the world.
“I hope all the young guns can pick up a board for the first time, go out there with a smile on their face and ride waves. It brings the most joy in life,” she said.
“Yeah. Every day it puts a smile on my face. So happy to be here. Everybody’s going through super tough times. So, love and hope – thanks everyone. Go the Aussies in the rest of Olympics.
“To my family, I just wasn’t to say thank you so much. Thanks for the sacrifices. And thanks for just being in my corner all the way. My surfed every way out there for you there. Thank you so much, everyone. Cheers.”
Fitzgibbons will be consigned to cheering on Wright from the beach alongside Irukandjis teammates Steph Gilmore and Julian Wilson, who were eliminated from contention on Monday.
It means Australia has just one medal hope remaining with Owen Wright the sole surviving Aussie in the surfing
Wright is up against Brazilian Italo Ferreira at 1.24pm AEST for a place in the gold medal match.