International Olympic Committee and ISA Confirm Qualification Process for Surfers
The International Surfing Association (ISA) has today welcomed the release by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of the approved Qualification System (QS) for the Olympic surfing competitions at Paris 2024, which will take place in Teahupo’o, the world-renowned reef break in Tahiti.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic medalists: Bianca Buitendag (RSA) silver, Carissa Moore (USA) gold, Amuro Tzusuki (JPN) bronze, Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) silver, Italo Ferreira (BRA) gold, Owen Wright (AUS) bronze. Photos by Pablo Jimenez / ISA
The Olympic QS builds on the previous system used for Tokyo 2020, ensuring the participation of the world’s best professional surfers as well as promoting geographical universal opportunities for surfers from around the world at the Games.
While the quota of 2 surfers per gender per country, remains in place, two exceptions to this rule have been introduced for the ISA World Surfing Games 2022 and 2024 Team Champions. This exception might result in some top teams see their quota expand to three (3) athletes. (See below for details of that change).
Surfing in the 2024 Olympics: The Qualification System
· 24 men, 24 women.
· Maximum of 2 surfers per gender per National Olympic Committee (NOC). There will be two exceptions to this limit made for the winning teams, per gender, at the 2022 and 2024 ISA World Surfing Games (WSG) where each team will qualify one spot for their country/NOC.
· Qualification spots will be earned on an individual basis, by name, other than for 2022 and 2024 WSG Team World Champion slots.
· In accordance with IOC guidelines, the qualification events have been determined in hierarchical order of qualification, as further explained below; If two surfers of a gender have qualified through the first hierarchical order, that NOC will not be able to qualify more surfers of that gender through qualifying events lower in hierarchical order.
· All surfers selected by their respective National Federations for their national teams must have participated in 2023 and 2024 ISA World Surfing Games in order to be eligible for Olympic qualification. The final details of the eligibility requirements are still under review by the ISA and the IOC.
Surfing in the 2024 Olympics: The Hierarchical Order of Qualification
1. 2023 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour: First 10 eligible men and first 8 eligible women.
2. 2023 ISA World Surfing Games: 4 men and 4 women selected based on their continent. Top finishing eligible surfer of each gender from Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
3. 2023 Pan American Games: First eligible man and first eligible woman in the surfing competitions.
4. 2024 ISA World Surfing Games: First 5 eligible men and first 7 eligible women.
5. 2024 ISA World Surfing Games: The winning teams by gender, will qualify 1 place for their respective country/NOC, regardless of the 2-per country quota limit.
6. 2022 ISA World Surfing Games: The winning teams by gender, will qualify 1 place for their respective country/NOC, regardless of the 2-per country quota limit.
7. Host nation slot: One man and one woman slot will be guaranteed for the host nation of France, unless already filled through the above hierarchies. Should athletes from France qualify regularly, their slots will be reallocated to the highest ranked eligible surfers from the 2024 World Surfing Games.
8. Universality Place: For the first time, one place per gender will be made available to eligible NOCs. Special consideration will be given to the nature of the wave in Teahupoo in terms of the eligibility criteria for these places. Should there deemed to be no qualified surfers in this category, these slots will be reallocated to the highest ranked eligible surfers from the 2024 World Surfing Games The complete process and selection criteria for these places will be communicated by the IOC at a later date.
The ISA will be working with the IOC and Olympic Solidarity to organize specific training camps in Tahiti in the lead up to the Games to provide qualified and potentially qualified surfers the opportunity to maximize their experience on the wave in Teahupoo.
Discussing the news, ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:
“Teahupoo will be a spectacular, magical showcase for our sport in the Olympics. Surfing was a very popular sport in the 2020 Tokyo Games. Olympic Surfing in 2024, will certainly expand on the Tokyo success. We are super excited to share this tangible pathway for surfers to reach their Olympic dreams.
Surfing is such a personal, individual expression of performance that it was really important for us to continue to enable the surfers to win the right to qualify based on their own performances. For this reason, all qualification places, with a few noted special exceptions, will be made by name.
Providing the winning teams at our World Surfing Games in 2022 and 2024 the opportunity win additional slots, regardless of the 2-per country limit, is an important innovation that will further motivate the top surfing nations to win the ISA Team World Champion Trophy.
This is another epic moment for the sport of Surfing, and for all of us who have dreamt of Olympic surfing and shared in the amazing debut in Tokyo last year. I can’t wait to see how our incredibly talented athletes perform in qualification with the target of becoming the next Olympic medalists in surfing in 2024.”