Surfing has been added to the programme for the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, it has been decided here today.
It will add to a line-up of 38 sports set to feature in the Peruvian capital, together with all 28 Summer Olympic sports and nine other disciplines currently on the Pan American Games programme.
These are baseball, bowling, karate, racquetball, artistic and speed events in roller sports, softball, squash and water skiing.
The news is a major boost for surfing following its selection as one of eight shortlisted sports for inclusion at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Both stand up paddle and big wave surfing have been proposed, with the Punta Rocas venue set to be the same one on which competition took place at last year’s World Surfing Games.
International Surfing Association (ISA) President Fernando Aguerre told insidethegames afterwards how he was excited and "very stoked" at the decision.
“Peru is a perfect location for surfing and has consistent high quality waves,” the official added, before reiterating the sport’s case for Olympic inclusion.
“We really believe surfing has a lot to contribute to the Movement.
“It embraces everything it stands for and is a true Olympic sport.”
He added that regular surfing and stand up paddle events have been proposed for Tokyo 2020, with an artificial wave pool set to be utilised for surfing due to the lack of natural waves in Japan at the time of the year the Games are held.
Stand up paddle racing does not require any additional venues, it was explained, since it could be held on any existing body of water, such as the Sea Forest International Regatta course proposed for rowing or canoe sprint action.
June 2015: Shortlisted sports hail "first base" on road to Tokyo 2020 inclusion