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Team Australia athletes named for 2019 ISA World Surfing Games

Six World Surf League Aussie superstars will represent Australia at this year’s International Surfing Association World Surfing Games,
With Ryan Callinan, Nikki Van Dijk, Sally Fitzgibbons, Stephanie Gilmore, Julian Wilson and Owen Wright in what is by far the strongest Aussie team ever assembled.

The 2019 World Surfing Games form part of the criteria for the upcoming Olympic qualification as Tokyo 2020 and Surfing’s debut looms larger than ever with powerhouse national like Brazil and The United States and Australia to use this event as rehearsals for the big show.

Sally Fitzgibbons is waiving the flag for Australia, as she’s set to defend her 2018 ISA World Surfing Games Women’s, Gold Medal.

“We don’t get to experience that team culture as a group very often. To come together as Aussies and really have that intention of being there for each other and our country is powerful.” 

“ I think the rehearsal vibe for what an Olympic Games would be like and the energy at this year’s ISA World Games is going to be perfect to continue to build the performance culture within Team Australia.”

Owen Wright of Australia at the 2019 Margaret River Pro ( Photo: Kelly Cestari/WSL )

According to the Olympic qualification system, the top ten eligible men and eight women, maximum two per country, at the end of the 2019 WSL CT season, will earn qualification slots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. This end-of-year ranking will also be used to determine who is nominated to be members of their national surfing teams at the 2020 WSG.

The 2019 ISA World Surfing Games is also an Olympic Surfing qualifier itself, awarding Tokyo 2020 slots on a continental basis to the top finishing eligible man and women from Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. The Americas’ qualification slots will be determined at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games in July.

Kim Crane, Surfing Australia’s National High Performance Director says “Since the inclusion of our sport into the Olympics, the journey has been an exciting one. I’m so proud of our Aussie athletes, their coaches and performance support staff in how they’re working together in readiness for the opportunities ahead. Factoring how we can best support our team to prepare both as a group and as individuals in amongst their already hectic WSL schedules is the big challenge that we are all-embracing.”

Bede Durbidge, Surfing Australia’s Head Coach said: “This team selection was always going to be hotly contested, as the quality of Australian athletes we have competing on the world stage are the best at what they do. The group we will take to Japan in September for the ISA’s will be ready, and will be going all out to perform at their best for their country and I cannot wait to lead them.”

The World Surfing Games get underway on September 7th with the Parade of Nations and Opening Ceremony before a potential start to competition on the same day. The event window ends on September 15th. 

Stephanie Gilmore of Australia at Beachwaver Maui Pro, Honolua Bay, 2018.

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