• Reuters

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The waves at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach are getting bigger and more powerful by the day, but picking the perfect one to surf their way into gold medal contention is proving to be the biggest challenge of all for the Olympic competitors.

Seven-time Australian world champion Stephanie Gilmore saw her dream of emulating her gold-medal winning hero Cathy Freeman dashed when she fell behind to South African Bianca Buitendag and was left waiting in vain for a winning wave that never came.

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