Surfing-Five to watch at the Tokyo Olympics
June 24 (Reuters) – Five surfers to watch at the Tokyo Olympics:
GABRIEL MEDINA (BRAZIL)
The Brazilian’s high-flying acrobatic approach has made him one of the most popular surfers on the circuit and he is the dazzling leader at the top of the Men’s Championship Tour standings, with more than 8,000 points ahead of his compatriot. Italo Ferreira.
JOHN JOHN FLORENCE (UNITED STATES)
The 28-year-old Hawaiian faces a race against time to be fit for Tokyo following surgery for an unspecified knee injury in May, but if he can make it he should be among the best draws as surfing makes its Olympic debut.
Introduced to the sport by her mother when she was a baby, Florence could have surfed on her own at the age of five and he enjoyed enormous success in the professional ranks, winning the World Surfing League twice. titles in 2016 and 2017.
CARISSA MOORE (UNITED STATES)
Having already declared Jan. 4 as “Carissa Moore Day” in her home state of Hawaii, the 28-year-old is already ranked as one of surfing’s all-time greats.
She won 11 amateur national championships before turning professional and starting a formidable rivalry with Australia’s Stephanie Gilmore which earned her four world championship victories.
Back in her best form, she leads the women’s standings and one of the favorites for the gold medal in Tokyo.
STEPHANIE GILMORE (AUSTRALIA)
Seven-time world champion, Gilmore will look to add Olympic gold to crown a brilliant career.
The Australian burst onto the scene in 2007 as the first athlete to win the world championship in her rookie year and she continued to dominate, winning four consecutive world titles.
Now 33, she is still in the top 10 in women’s surfing with a wealth of experience to build on when the Games begin.
KANOA IGARASHI (JAPAN)
Japan’s hopes of winning a medal in surfing will rest with Igarashi, who has arguably been groomed for the task since the day he was born.
Upon finding out that she was pregnant with him, his mother Misa and his father Tsutomu, a surf fanatic, gave up their jobs in Tokyo and moved to Huntington Beach, California to give their son the best possible shot for a surfing career. surf.
Although he has dual citizenship, Igarashi proudly represents Japan, where he has become a household name.
Reporting by Philip O’Connor, editing by Pritha Sarkar
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