Samoan surfers eye Tokyo Olympics

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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SURF'S UP: Chris Pule and Lino Fofoga show off their skills during training at Aganoa Beach in Savai'i. Photo: Supplied.

SURF'S UP: Chris Pule and Lino Fofoga show off their skills during training at Aganoa Beach in Savai'i. Photo: Supplied.

The Samoa Surf Riders Association has been kept busy.

The Association is preparing three men for the upcoming 2017 VISSLA International Surfing Association World Junior Surfing Championship in Japan in October.

The team of Chris, Pule Martin and Lino Fofoga have been training at Aganoa Beach at Faala Savai’i. 

The President of the Samoa Surf Riders Association, Keith Martin, told the Samoa Observer there is more to their training. 

The bigger picture involves the Olympics Inaugural Surfing competition at the Japan 2020 Olympics. 

“Our boys have been finalists in the Powerade Event held in Fiji,” he said. “They are continuing their coaching clinics that started with the HIT Programme (High Intensity Training) on the Sunshine Coast Qld earlier this year.”

Mr. Martin said the surfers accept they have got a long way to go but there is no shortage of determination and commitment.

The competition in Japan will be an excellent way to test their skills.

The VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship is the largest junior Surfing contest in the world. Held in Azores last year, some 371 athletes from 39 countries took part.

According to the I.S.A website, the VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship will gather Surfing’s top 18 and under surfers to represent their nations.

The event will take place at Okuragahama beach in Hyuga City on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu.

“With Surfing’s rapidly growing popularity and strong youth appeal in Japan, the VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship will set a precedent of world-class Surfing that fans can expect to witness when the sport makes its Olympic debut at Chiba’s Shidashita beach in the 2020 Game,” information about the competition says. 

According to the ISA website, the event has proven to provide a glimpse of the future stars of the sport ever since legendary surfer Tom Curren won the Gold Medal at the inaugural edition in 1980. 

Other top professional surfers that have launched their careers with ISA Junior Gold Medals include Gabriel Medina, Julian Wilson, Jordy Smith, Filipe Toledo, Owen Wright, Leonardo Fioravanti, Stephanie Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons, Laura Enever, Tatiana Weston-Webb and Tyler Wright.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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