Aussie surfers keen for Tokyo domination

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The trash talk among the world's elite surfers has begun ahead of the sport's Olympic debut, and Sally Fitzgibbons is confident the Aussies will prevail.

Fitzgibbons has joined seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore in a powerful Australian women's contingent for the Tokyo Games.

The duo are aiming to beat the likes of Hawaiia's four-time world champion Carrisa Moore, American Caroline Marks, Brazilian Tatiana Weston-Webb and France's world No.2 Johanne Defay for the crown.

Hopes are high Fitzgibbons or Gilmore - or both - will snare a podium finish.

The Australian men's team of Owen Wright and Julian Wilson face a far tougher task.

With world champions Italo Ferreira, Gabriel Medina and John John Florence among a powerful men's field, world No.20 Wright and world No.17 Wilson will have to pull out something special to come away with a medal.

Fitzgibbons and Wright were full of confidence about Australia's chances on Friday.

"We are going to be the standouts, me and Owen, because we are on this call talking to you," Fitzgibbons said with a big smile.

"We're backing ourselves, we're going all the way. And if it's not us two, then it's Steph and Jules, or a mixture or a combination of all. Aussie domination is my prediction."

Wright couldn't agree more.

"I'm with you there. Jules is looking deadly and the girls are in red-hot form this year. I reckon we're looking good."

FItzgibbons, who made the semi-finals of the recent WSL event at The Ranch in California, said hype among the world's best surfers has been building for some time.

"There's definitely a bit of trash talk going on in the locker rooms," Fitzgibbons said.

"I feel a few of the other nations, they're coming in hungry. It's all about the fighting spirit and doing what it takes on the day."

Fitzgibbons is still hopeful fans will be able to attend the surfing at Tsurigasaki Beach given the site is about 90 minutes away from Tokyo.

The current world No.3 said dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic while preparing for the Olympics had been tough.

"I feel like travelling in a pandemic, there's definitely this layer of anxiety that you're dealing with, and it's constant," Fitzgibbons said.

"I think that is an underestimated energy drainer. Coupled with the pressure, it's going to be about managing those energies.

"Being tested every second day, there's a level of anxiety of, 'Ok, is it green light, or are we stopping?'

"But it's going to be such a freeing moment to step into that competitive arena, put the rashie on and paddle out."

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