Surfing is the latest sport to have its first qualifier for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The 2022 ISA WSG (International Surfing Association World Surfing Games) will yield a spot for both men and women at the Games. Bizarrely, this is actually the lowest priority event on the calendar, despite being the first chronologically, meaning that we will not necessarily know the country to claim the spot for certain after the event. However, it is certainly a big deal. There is normally a cap of two athletes per NOC per gender in Olympic surfing, but this can be bumped up to three by claiming the spot on offer at the 2024 and 2022 WSG. Therefore, the top surfers will be hoping for a good performance. The host city is Huntington Beach, California, United States, which is nicknamed "Surf City, USA", such is the popularity of the sport there and the consistently good conditions: the city also hosted the event in 1984 and 2006.
The spot is earned by the highest ranking team. On the men's side, the Brazilians will hope to count on Olympic champion Ítalo Ferreira as well as Miguel Pupo and Samuel Pupo, while Tokyo runner-up Kanoa Igarashi heads the Japanese team. France are defending champions but have a new-look team compared to the 2021 event in La Libertad, El Salvador's own "Surf City", they'll be hoping to find consistency in preparation for a home games. Griffin Colapinto heads a strong American team, which will be hoping to impress an expectant home crowd.
On the women's side, the Americans are without Olympic champion Carissa Moore, and it will be interesting to see how their young team gets on. Tokyo Bronze medalist Amuro Tsuzuki of Japan will be in action, while Sally Fitzgibbons will hope for another strong games for Australia. Portugal's team of Yolanda Sequeira, Teresa Bonvalot, and Francisca Veselko is considered a dark horse.
The event starts with the Opening Ceremony on 16 September, with the competition on 17-23 September for men, and 19-23 September for women, with the final on 24 September for both genders.
Writer, Totallympics News