Highest Ever Country Participation at 2019 ISA World Surfing Games Presented by Vans

Posted - News Posted for ISA News, Japan News, World Surfing News.

240 athletes from 55 nations will pursue Olympic qualification 

American Samoa, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, and Thailand to make World Surfing Games debut

Women set new participation records 

A record-breaking 55 nations have confirmed their participation in the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games (WSG) presented by Vans.

Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons will look for her a second consecutive WSG Gold Medal in Miyazaki. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons will look for her a second consecutive WSG Gold Medal in Miyazaki. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

Taking place September 7-15 in Miyazaki, Japan, the event will unite 240 athletes to pursue their dreams of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The top eligible man and woman from Asia, Africa, Europe and Oceania will earn a slot at Surfing’s Olympic debut. 

The previous record for competing nations was 47, set at the 2017 ISA World Surfing Games in Biarritz, France.

Among the unprecedented amount of nations are four nations competing in the event for the first time in history: American Samoa, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. 

The standing record for women participation, which 93 athletes set in 2018, has also been surpassed, as 103 women will surf in the event, making up 43% of the total participants.

To view a full list of team rosters, click here.

Team Iran made history with their first WSG appearance at the 2018 edition in Tahara, Japan. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

Team Iran made history with their first WSG appearance at the 2018 edition in Tahara, Japan. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

The 2019 WSG is historic in that it will be the first edition to directly qualify surfers for Tokyo 2020. The event is part of a hierarchical qualification process that also includes the 2019 World Surf League Championship Tour, the 2020 ISA World Surfing Games, and the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. 

To learn more about Surfing’s Olympic qualification process, click here

The elite talent of Surfing is slated to compete in Miyazaki. Top surfers, such as Kelly Slater (USA), Carissa Moore (USA), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Julian Wilson (AUS), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Jordy Smith (RSA), Johanne Defay (FRA), Jeremy Flores (FRA), and Michel Bourez (FRA), among others, will surf for their nations and go for Gold. 

Both 2018 individual Gold Medalists will return to defend their Titles. Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons and Argentina’s Santiago Muñiz, both two-time WSG Champions, will look for their third Gold Medal.

Team Japan, who won their first Gold Medal at the 2018 edition held in Tahara, Japan, will be led by their 2018 Silver Medalist Kanoa Igarashi in their attempt to retain the Team Title. 

Peru’s Lucca Mesinas and Daniella Rosas, the respective Men’s and Women’s Lima 2019 Pan American Games Gold Medalists, will both surf for their country of Peru.

Fresh off a Pan Am Gold Medal, Peru’s Lucca Mesinas will represent his nation and attempt to improve upon his 2018 Bronze Medal performance. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Fresh off a Pan Am Gold Medal, Peru’s Lucca Mesinas will represent his nation and attempt to improve upon his 2018 Bronze Medal performance. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said: 

“It is incredible to see that a record number of countries across all continents will come to Miyazaki to surf as national surfing teams. The visible growth in participation of non-traditional surfing nations is a direct consequence of the ISA’s strategy for the global development of the sport. 

“With a record amount of national teams, participation of the top athletes of the sport, and Tokyo 2020 qualification in play, this is hands down the most significant World Surfing Games in history. 

“I am also particularly proud to see that our efforts to promote gender equality are producing great results, as we will welcome a record amount of women in the event for the second consecutive year. Between offering equal competition slots for each gender and providing scholarships to young girls around the world, we have been fully committed to working towards a future that features 50/50 participation between men and women in Surfing.

“I am more than ready for nine days of passion, camaraderie, and inspired surfing with Tokyo 2020 in sight.” 

About the International Surfing Association:

The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. The ISA governs and defines Surfing as Shortboard, Longboard & Bodyboarding, StandUp Paddle (SUP) Racing and Surfing, Bodysurfing, Wakesurfing, and all other wave riding activities on any type of waves, and on flat water using wave riding equipment. The ISA crowned its first Men's and Women's World Champions in 1964. It crowned the first Big Wave World Champion in 1965; World Junior Champion in 1980; World Kneeboard Champions in 1982; World Longboard Surfing and World Bodyboard Champions in 1988; World Tandem Surfing Champions in 2006; World Masters Champions in 2007; and World StandUp Paddle (SUP, both surfing and racing) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012.

ISA membership includes the surfing National Federations of 108 countries on five continents. The ISA is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (ARG). The Executive Committee includes four Vice-Presidents Karín Sierralta (PER), Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL), Athletes' Commission Chair Justine Dupont (FRA), Regular Members Atsushi Sakai (JPN) and Jean Luc Arassus (FRA) and ISA Executive Director Robert Fasulo as Ex-officio Member.

Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California (USA).

For more information, please visit www.isasurf.org

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