Tsurigasaki Beach: surfing's Olympic venue for Tokyo 2020 | Photo: Bennett/WSL

Surfing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will take place in the ocean, not in a wave pool. The waiting period runs from July 24 to August 9.

The president of the International Surfing Association (ISA) confirmed that surfers will fight for gold, silver and bronze Olympic medals in a natural environment.

Despite supporting the development of artificial wave technology, Fernando Aguerre ruled out the possibility of holding the Olympic surfing program in a surf pool.

"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," Aguerre told AFP.

"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."

Kelly Slater, creator of the Surf Ranch, and Sophie Goldschmidt, CEO of the World Surf League (WSL), have been lobbying for the introduction of wave pools in the Tokyo 2020 program. In 2016, WSL bought the Surf Ranch.

However, the Tokyo 2020 organizers believe that Tsurigasaki Beach offers all the conditions for running the event, and is exposed to 180-degree (NE to SE) swells coming from the Pacific Ocean.

The Olympic surfing venue is located between Kujukuri and Ichinomiya, just 60 miles east of Tokyo.

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.

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