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Biarritz to host World Surfing Games in 2017

The International Surfing Association (ISA) has announced that the French town of Biarritz will host the 2017 edition of its World Surfing Games, confirming the return of the event to Europe for the first time since 2008.

Biarritz, which will stage the national team competition next May, also hosted the 1980 Games, during which legendary US surfer Tom Curren launched his career by taking a gold medal in the Junior Division.

The announcement comes on the back of the recent confirmation that surfing will feature in the summer Olympic Games for the first time at Tokyo 2020. Last month, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) selected surfing, as well as baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding and sport climbing as sports that will be added to the schedule.

“France is a great surfing destination and Biarritz in particular, is a wonderful coastal city transformed by surfing in the last decades,” ISA president Fernando Aguerre said. “The world-class waves of Biarritz will be a perfect place to showcase our sport on the road to Tokyo 2020.”

Jean-Luc Arassus, president of the French Surfing Federation, added: “With Tokyo 2020 on the horizon these are exciting times for surfing. We look forward to welcoming the some of the best surfers in the world and potentially the sport’s first ever Olympians at what will be a wonderful festival of surfing.”

The 2016 World Surfing Games took place in Playa Jacó, Costa Rica, from August 6-14, and attracted 142 surfers from 26 countries. Peru finished as the overall team winner, while Argentina’s Leandro Usuna and Tia Blanco of the US won the individual men’s and women’s contests, respectively.