- 08 December 2016 | Surfing
Tokyo 2020 announced that the Olympic surfing competition will take place at Tsurigasaki Beach, in Japan.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board approved the venues for the Olympic debut of five new sports (surfing, skateboarding, sport climbing, karate, and baseball/softball).
Surfing's first Olympic Games appearance will occur at Tsurigasaki Beach, in the Chiba prefecture, between Kujukuri and Ichinomiya, and at the southern end of the Kujukuri Beach. The Japanese surf break gets 180-degree (NE to SE) swells from the Pacific Ocean.
The Olympic surfing competition will feature 40 surfers - 20 male, and 20 female athletes - from several nations. There will only be a shortboard division, and competitors will not all come from World Surf League's Championship Tour.
Interestingly, on the day IOC voted for the inclusion of surfing in Tokyo 2020, Prince Albert II of Monaco, a member of the IOC, questioned surfing's podium format.
"Surfing is a great sport, and we all appreciate watching those beautiful images. The only thing that I saw in the program commission report is that the format of the event that was observed in Australia, they did not allow for a third place finish," the reigning monarch of the Principality of Monaco told his fellow members.
"So, there was no bronze medal awarded at that competition. I hope that for Tokyo 2020, the format will allow for gold, silver and bronze medal presentation."
Apparently, Prince Albert II of Monaco didn't do his homework. Had he contacted the International Surfing Association (ISA), he would have found out that gold, silver and bronze medals are not new to surfing.
The ISA World Surfing Games have been awarding medals - and even copper - for a long time.
Moreover, all formats are possible in surfing. The sport has four-man finals in which only the top 3 earn medals and climb the podium, but it also often showcases a two-man final for gold and silver, with an additional losers' final for bronze.
Surfers know that Prince Albert II of Monaco loves sailing, and they respect his preference. Maybe it's time ISA's Fernando Aguerre invites him for a surfing lesson.