El Salvador selected to host historic edition of 2020 ISA World Surfing Games

Posted January 13th, 2020 – News Posted for El Salvador NewsISA NewsWorld Surfing News.

Last Olympic Qualifier to take place May 9-17 at Surf City El Salvador

The International Surfing Association (ISA) is pleased to announce that El Salvador has been chosen as host of the 2020 ISA World Surfing Games, to take place May 9-17. 

Twelve Olympic Qualifiers (seven women and five men) will be determined, making 2020 a historic edition of the event.

Swell lines wrap around the point of El Sunzal, also breaking on the reef of La Bocana, seen further down the coast. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

The twelve surfers to qualify for Tokyo 2020 in El Salvador will round out the grand total of 20 men and 20 women to compete in Surfing’s Olympic debut, joining athletes that qualified through the 2019 World Surf League Championship Tour (WSL CT), 2019 ISA World Surfing Games, and Lima 2019 Pan American Games.

The competition, which utilizes a dual podium format, will take place across two waves – El Sunzal and La Bocana. 

Both world-class surf spots recently were used to successfully host international championships, with the Surf City El Salvador ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship taking to the righthand, cobblestone point break of El Sunzal and the ALAS Latin Pro running at La Bocana, less than a kilometer to the east.

Hosting the ISA World Surfing Games is the next step in El Salvador’s five-year “Surf City” strategy to promote the tourism opportunities at the country’s beautiful beaches. 

The world’s best National Surfing Teams will be present in El Salvador. The top three ranking surfers from each nation on the 2019 WSL CT will be nominated to represent their nations, an invitation that must be accepted to remain eligible for Tokyo 2020 as per the ISA’s Olympic Eligibility Requirements

The 2019 edition of the ISA World Surfing Games in Miyazaki, Japan reached unprecedented participation records. 240 athletes from a record-breaking 55 nations vied for the Gold Medals and Olympic Qualification slots. 

Peru’s Sofia Mulanovich earned the Women’s Gold Medal, while Italo Ferreira led Team Brazil to Gold with a gutsy, Gold Medal performance in the Men’s Division.

Peru’s Sofia Mulanovich claims victory at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games in Miyazaki, Japan. Photo: ISA / Pablo Jimenez

The Tokyo 2020 slots, which were awarded on a continental basis, were provisionally earned by Shun Murakami (JPN), Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR), Billy Stairmand (NZL), and Frederico Morais (POR) for the men and Shino Matsuda (JPN), Anat Lelior (ISR), Bianca Buitendag (RSA), and Ella Williams (NZL) for the women.

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said: 

“We are very pleased to continue our strong relationship with President Nayib Bukele, Minister Morena Valdez and the government of El Salvador to bring another ISA World Championship to their beautiful country. The ISA World Surfing Games will bring an unprecedented level of global attention to the country and the nearly unlimited world-class resource that is its year-round waves.

Olympic dreams will be fulfilled, creating a highly anticipated level of world-class surfing, camaraderie, and excitement. The universality of our sport will be well on display with surfers from all continents gathering in peace to celebrate our sport’s Olympic spirit.

We look forward to building momentum towards Tokyo 2020, displaying the youthful, high-performance values of our sport that will contribute to the great success of the Games.”

The President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele said:

“We are proud that our country will always be remembered and associated with the historic recognition of surf as an Olympic sport. 

We welcome surfers and tourists from around the world. This event will be the window to show our world-class waves and destination: Surf City El Salvador. Our country is open and ready to embrace new ideas, challenges and innovation. 

With Surf City El Salvador we are showing, with actions, that we have the political will to create a brand, a concept and a world-class destination.

This Olympic qualifying event is a milestone for Surf City El Salvador and we are certain it will contribute to the consolidation of our beautiful country as a premier destination for surfing. 

This is a historic championship for the sport. We are honored to host the world’s top surfers and show them all the good things we have to offer.” 

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