Here’s how the qualification process works

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Carissa Moore, surfing in conditions similar to what we hope to see at the 2024 Olympics. Photo: Ben Thouard/Red Bull Content Pool

The 2024 Olympics could still be a few years away, but if the last have taught us anything, it is that these years pass. And, since the 2024 Olympics are French-style, Olympic surfing should take place in Teahupo’o – which, of course, is about the best possible place to hold an Olympic surfing event. The ISA, as forward-looking as it is, has just released the official pathways to qualification.

“The Olympic QS builds on the previous system used for Tokyo 2020,” it read. A press release“ensure the participation of the best professional surfers in the world as well as promote universal geographical opportunities for surfers around the world at the Games.”

The surf did pretty well in its inaugural year at the 2020 Tokyo Games, and if wave quality is any barometer of mainstream interest, Teahupo’o will top the charts – if conditions cooperate. .

“Teahupo’o will be a spectacular and magical showcase for our sport at the Olympics,” said ISA President Fernando Aguerre. “Surfing was a very popular sport at the Tokyo Games in 2020. Olympic Surfing in 2024, will certainly expand on Tokyo’s success. We are thrilled to share this tangible path for surfers to achieve their Olympic dreams.

Teahupo’o was chosen because the Olympic organizers decided that it “would provide an opportunity to involve the French overseas territories and their communities in the Olympic Games – for the first time in history – while highlighting the rich and diversified heritage of France”. A good decision, right?

According to Aguerre, a few important considerations went into determining how the qualification process would work. He also dictated some small adjustments.

“Surfing is such a personal and individual expression of performance that it was really important to us to continue to allow surfers to earn the right to qualify based on their own performance,” he explained. “For this reason, all qualifying places, with a few special exceptions noted, will be made by name. To provide the winning teams of our World Surfing Games in 2022 and 2024 with the opportunity to earn additional places, regardless of the limit of two by country, is an important innovation that will further motivate top surfing nations to win the ISA Team World Champion Trophy.”

So here’s how it’s going to work, all pointed and direct (rather).

  • 24 men, 24 women.
  • Maximum of two surfers per gender and per National Olympic Committee (NOC). There will be two exceptions to this limit for winning teams, by gender, at the ISA World Surfing Games (WSG) 2022 and 2024 where each team will qualify a place for their country/NOC.
  • Qualification places will be won on an individual basis, by name, except for the 2022 and 2024 WSG World Team Champion places.
  • In accordance with IOC guidelines, qualifying events have been determined in hierarchical order of qualification, as further explained below; If two surfers of one gender have qualified through the first pecking order, that NOC will not be able to qualify more surfers of that gender through qualifying events lower in the pecking order.
  • All surfers selected by their respective national federations for their national teams must have participated in the 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.

The hierarchical order of qualification will be as follows:

  1. 2023 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour: Top 10 eligible men and top eight eligible women.
  2. ISA World Surfing Games 2023: four men and four women selected according to their continent. Top eligible surfer of each gender from Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
  3. 2023 Pan American Games: First eligible male and first eligible female in surfing competitions.
  4. ISA World Surfing Games 2024: first five eligible men and first seven eligible women.
  5. ISA World Surfing Games 2024: The winning teams by gender will earn a place for their respective country/NOC, regardless of the quota limit of two per country.
  6. ISA World Surfing Games 2022: The winning teams by gender will qualify for a place for their respective country/NOC, regardless of the quota limit of two per country.
  7. Host Country Location: One male and one female will be guaranteed for the host country, France, unless already filled through the hierarchies above. If French athletes qualify consistently, 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. Particular attention will be paid to the nature of the wave in Teahupo’o with regard to the eligibility criteria for these places. If there are no qualified surfers in this category, these slots will be reallocated to the highest ranked eligible surfers from the 2024 World Surfing Games. The full process and selection criteria for these slots will be communicated by the IOC on a date later.

Do you have all that? Neither do I. But if you want to dive a little deeper, there’s more here. But honestly, I’m just excited about having an Olympic event at Maxing Chopes.

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