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  • First Olympic Quotas Decided in Surfing at 2022 World Surfing Games


    Japan’s Kanoa Igarashi and United States’ Kirra Pinkerton were crowned champions today at the World Surfing Games. The event was held at Huntington Beach, United States from September 16th to September 24th 2022.


    2020 Olympic silver medalist Igarashi had a perfect competition where he finished first in all eight rounds on route to winning gold. In the final, he finished ahead of Indonesia’s Rio Waida and Australia’s Jackson Baker whom won silver and bronze.


    Pinkerton had a similar experience, never being relegated to the second chance repechage bracket as she finished either first or second in all of her heats. In the final, her score of 13.63 barely edged out France’s Pauline Ado’s score of 13.00. The bronze medal was won by Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons.


    The event doubled as the first opportunity for nations to qualify to the 2024 Olympics. The highest ranked nation from the men’s and women’s team points ranking qualified a spot to the games. Up to three surfers contribute to their nation’s ranking based on the placing they achieved with the winner getting 1000 points, second receiving 860 points, third obtaining 730 points and so on.


    Buoyed by their individual championship title, the winner of the team points competition was Japan for the men and the United States for the women. The Olympic quota is awarded to the nation and it is up to the respective National Olympic Committee to choose which athlete will compete.


    As a reminder, despite the 2022 World Surfing Games occurring first, it is actually lower on the quota hierarchy which could have some implications. Should the nations which won a quota today win a third quota from the team points ranking at the 2024 World Surfing Games, the quota won here will be reallocated to the second-place nation, specifically the United States for the men and Australia for the women.


    The next opportunity for surfers to qualify to the Olympics will be at the 2023 World Surfing Games.


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