After months of speculation the bods at the ISA have delivered the news on how getting to the Olympics in Japan is going to work in surfing. The short version is 20 guys, 20 gals, max 2 per gender per nation, with priority to WSL riders. For the non-surfing super powers the ISA World Games are the gateway to Olympic glory. The host nation gets a spot so there are 19 places up for grabs. So if we understand this correctly the guys from the smaller nations on the WCT have it all to play for. As the US/Oz/Brazilian superpowers will predictably use their allocations from the CT.
A CT example being:
USA: John John and maybe a young buck like Griffin Colapinto, doubtful Kelly will hold out long enough.
Brazil: Medina and Filipe, pretty lethal combo and Yago, Italo and more nipping at their heels.
Australia: Owen Wright and Julian Wilson and there’s plenty of depth in the ranks with Wilko and new blood like Mikey Wright.
France: Bourez and Flores, Joan Duru as sub
South Africa: Jordy is arguably a dead cert at this stage.
Then the last spot could be a bun fight between:
Japan: Kanoa Igarashi
Portugal: Frederico Morais
Italy: Leo Fioarvanti
So you can see how the smaller nations on the CT will be scrapping for that spot on the 2019 tour. Huge profile boost to be an Olympian.
For the rest of the world these will be the keenest fought and highest level attended ISA World Games ever. Expect ex-CT guys from all nations to be in attendance. Make the finals and you’re in the Olympics … and there’s a lot of talented riders from a lot of countries, it’s going to be fierce. Wouldn’t want to be the judges making the calls in those events. Good luck one and all.
The key elements of the qualification system are as follows:
- 20 men, 20 women.
- Maximum of 2 surfers per gender per National Olympic Committee (NOC).
- Qualification spots will be earned on an individual basis, by name.
- In accordance with IOC guidelines, the qualification events have been determined in hierarchical order of qualification, as further explained below; If two surfers of a gender have qualified through the first hierarchical order, that NOC will not be able to qualify more surfers of that gender through qualifying events lower in hierarchical order.
- All surfers selected by their respective National Federations for their national teams must participate in 2019 and 2020 ISA World Surfing Games in order to be eligible for Olympic qualification. The final details of the eligibility requirements are still under review by the ISA and the IOC.
The hierarchical order of qualification will be as follows:
- 2019 World Surf League Championship Tour: First 10 eligible men and first 8 eligible women.
- 2020 ISA World Surfing Games: First 4 eligible men and first 6 eligible women.
- 2019 ISA World Surfing Games: 4 men and 4 women selected based on their continent. Top finishing eligible surfer of each gender from Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
- 2019 Pan American Games: First eligible man and first eligible woman in the surfing competitions.
- Host nation slot: One man and one woman slot will be guaranteed for the host nation of Japan, unless already filled through the above hierarchies. Should athletes from Japan qualify regularly, their slots will be reallocated to the highest ranked eligible surfers from the 2020 World Surfing Games.
See the ISA post here.