Courtesy of WSL – World Surf League
– 20-Year-Old Hopes to Surf for Home Country in Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
– Becomes First Competitor to Formally Represent Japan on WSL Championship Tour
– More Information Available at WorldSurfLeague.com
|LOS ANGELES, California, USA (Monday, February 12, 2018) – Kanoa Igarashi, 20, will represent Japan heading into the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) season. A dual citizen of Japan and the United States, Igarashi decided to change his representing country as he eyes the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, which will include surfing for the first time.
“I am going to be representing Japan this year on the Championship Tour,” Igarashi said. “I am proud to surf for Japan. My parents are Japanese, my whole family is Japanese. I have a lot of support and fans over there. We do not have any Japanese surfers on the CT, so it is something for them to cheer for and have that part in the WSL. I am sure they are really excited, and I am looking forward to it. My family is stoked.”
With this change, Igarashi becomes the first competitor to officially represent Japan on the WSL CT. In 2016, Igarashi joined the CT as its youngest member (then 17) and has proven to be a leader in the next generation of progressive surfers. Igarashi’s career has been decorated with impressive performances as he has ranked in the Top 20 for the past two years. His standout victories include first at the Vans US Open of Surfing in 2017 and a runner-up finish at the Billabong Pipe Masters in 2016.
“I want to be able to compete in the Olympics and represent Japan,” continued Igarashi. “I grew up competing for USA and have a lot of support over here, but this is a different part of my career now. The Olympics is the greatest competition in all of sports and it is something that you dream of doing as a kid. I never thought it would be possible as a surfer. It is a really exciting time for surfing. I am going to do my best to represent surfing in the best way possible.”
Igarashi will compete under Japan for the first time in the 2018 WSL Championship Tour kickoff event, the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, in Australia from March 11 – 22, 2018.
For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com.
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The World Surf League (WSL) is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, annually running in excess of 180 global events across the Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed world champions in Men’s, Women’s across all divisions within the tour.
Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Tyler Wright, John John Florence, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Taylor Jensen, Honolua Blomfield, Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore, Kelly Slater, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com