Fernando Aguerre, the president of the International Surfing Association (ISA), confirmed that surfers competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will battle it out in the ocean, putting to bed any rumours of wave pools.
“With the support of the ISA, the International Olympic Committee [IOC] and the Tokyo 2020 organizers have determined that surfing will take place at Tsurigasaki Beach, in Chiba. The organizing 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,” Aguerre told AFP.
Kelly Slater and Sophie Goldschmidt, CEO of the WSL, have publically been advocating for the inclusion of wave pools in the Tokyo 2020 program. The Olympic organizing committee, however, is sticking to their guns and believe that Tsurigasaki Beach will be well suited for competition offering all the conditions necessary for the event. The manner in which the geography of the beach is set up allows for 180-degree (NE to SE) swells coming from the Pacific Ocean.
The IOC has already approved surfing’s qualification system for the 2020 Summer Olympics. Twenty male surfers and twenty female surfers will compete in a shortboard event.