Surfing in the ocean at Tokyo Olympics: ISA president

Paris (AFP) –


Surfing at the 2020 Olympic Games will take place in the ocean and not in an artificial wave pool, according to the International Surfing Association (ISA).

"With the support of the ISA, the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 organisers have determined that surfing will take place in the ocean in Tokyo, at Tsurigasaki Beach in Chiba," ISA president Fernando Aguerre told AFP on Tuesday.

"The organising committee has not indicated anything to us about the possibility of changing their plan, so we are planning for the chosen location in the ocean."

Iconic American surfer Kelly Slater unveiled his concept of an artificial wave pool in May during a competition organised with the World Surf League (WSL), who run the pro circuit.

Slater had hinted that a similar project could see the day in Tokyo, WSL executive Sophie Goldschmidt adding at the time that she hoped Olympic organisers would consider using the American's artificial wave pool because the ocean waves were not good at that time in Japan.

But organisers have plumped for Tsurigasaki Beach, which lies some 60 kilometres southeast of Tokyo and has already hosted professional surfing competitions.

"The ISA has long been a supporter and advocate for wavepool technology," Aguerre told AFP.

"We are interested to learn of any developments of this kind, and obviously we stay in touch with surfing colleagues on all new initiatives which help in the development of our great sport."

The surfing programme at the Olympics will run for the totality of the Games, from July 24-August 9.