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The 27-year-old Victoria Bay on the Garden Route had already knocked out seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore by 13.93 at 10:00 a.m. on Monday.
She then faced Portugal’s Yolanda Hopkins in the quarter-finals at Tsurigasaki Surf Beach on Tuesday, with all surf finals being brought forward by one day due to an impending storm.
Buitendag did the job against Hopkins, winning with 9.50 points versus 5.46 for Hopkins.
Marks had everything to do, but was only able to muster 3.00 in his third wave and 3.67 in his fifth – with the third wave’s score ultimately going down to zero due to “priority interference”. which means Marks hampered Buitendag’s scoring potential, which was determined by the judges to have the right of way for this wave.
READ ALSO: Bianca Buitendag wants to make a splash in the surf of the Tokyo Olympics
After beating Gilmore on Monday, Buitendag told Team SA website: “Being against a seven-time world champion, you can understand my feeling. I had nothing to lose… I felt absolutely no pressure.
“I’m the underdog, coming in 17th seed for this event. It is a really comfortable place. This removes any nerves and pressure that might be there.
“Things just seem to be going my way… a few times in the ocean, they haven’t. So a lot of things had to line up for this win to happen. I knew I had to be on the best waves or I didn’t have a chance. I just made sure it was at least covered, to give myself the best possible chance. “
Now Buitendag has a chance of becoming the first Olympic women’s surfing champion, and she will face American Carissa Moore, who scored 8.33 to beat Japan’s Amuro Tsuzuki (7.43) in the second semi-final, during of the final.