1 Oct 2015

Olympic surfing to be held on shore

11:58 am on 1 October 2015

Surfing at the 2020 Olympics would be held in a wave pool if it is confirmed by the IOC.

Surfing is one of 5 new sports proposed for inclusion by the Tokyo organisers, the others are baseball/softball, Karate, skateboarding and climbing

Ricardo Christie at Margaret River, 2015.

Ricardo Christie at Margaret River, 2015. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

To avoid any problems related to mother nature, organisers would move the event on shore.

Surfing New Zealand's Ben Kennings said an international event was held in a wave-pool earlier this month in Wales and New Zealand's Billy Stairmand was second.

He said technology will continue to develope before 2020 and he believes it will provide good competition.

Kennings said the Olympics wouldn't want any lay-days and they'd also probably want some consistency with the waves.

He said it would allow for Stadium surfing which would appeal to organisers and spectators.

Surfing could then be scheduled at a certain time and fans could get very close.

Kennings said surfing and skateboarding appeals to youth and that was what the IOC was looking for.

He said while no qualification criteria has been announced, the Olympic event may consist of just 20 men and 20 women.

Games hosts are being given a chance to bring in one or more sports popular in their country to boost ratings and attract greater sponsorship.

The International Olympic Committee will make a final decision next August.

The Tokyo organisers narrowed down their previous list by dropping bowling, squash and wushu, a type of martial art.

In their past presentation to Tokyo officials, surfing highlighted its "sex appeal" to win over organisers, with the option of implementing cutting-edge artificial wave technology.

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