India will make its debut at the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Surfing Games with surfers Ajeesh Ali, Sanjay Selvamani, Sivaraj Babu, and Ramesh Budihal competing in the annual event in May-June of this year. The Indian surfers will fly to El Salvador to participate in the tournament that has been contested since 1964. The Surfing Federation of India (SFI) chose the four-member Indian surfing team after a three-stage selection procedure.
The ISA World Surfing Games 2023 will also serve as a qualifying event for the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024. Surfing made its Olympic debut in Tokyo 2020, with two medal events: men’s and women’s shortboard. Italo Ferreira of Brazil and Carissa Moore of the United States won gold medals in the men’s and women’s events, respectively.
Meanwhile, 48 athletes will compete in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, 24 in the women’s category and 24 in the men’s. This is eight more than the number of competitors in Tokyo 2020. The four-member Indian team is now in Sri Lanka for a 14-day training camp led by India’s surfing coach, Patrick Renaud, a former South African professional surfer who coached the English Surf team to fourth place in the European Surfing Championships.
After the Sri Lanka camp, the Indian surfing team will continue to train under Patrick Renaud and will most likely compete in international tournaments in the Maldives and Sri Lanka to gain exposure ahead of the El Salvador tournament. (ANI)
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