Surfing’s Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 with have garnered greater focus in the host country after Japan were able to celebrate their maiden World Surfing Games gold in Tahara.
The success came in the team competition with a six member squad achieving a total score of 3,368 points in the event.
Kanoa Igarashi and Shun Murakami proved the top scorers for the home team during proceedings.
Japan’s previous best performance in the team competition at Championships was a fifth place finish.
Australia finished as the runners-up on 3,093 points, with the United States closely behind on 3,000 to complete the podium.
“This is a truly a momentous occasion for the history of surfing, as we have seen team Japan assert themselves as one of the emerging, global powerhouses of the sport," said Fernando Aguerre, International Surfing Association President.
“Japan has a strong, rich surfing culture and the timing could not be better for them to win the gold with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics fast approaching.
“2018 will stick in our memories for many reasons, as we saw the epic waves that the Japanese coastline can provide.
“We saw the progression of women’s surfing with the first edition to feature gender equality in competition slots, and we saw the talents of new and solidified stars of surfing who rose to the occasion on a global stage.”
The women’s individual competition also drew to a close on the final day of the Championships.
Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons was able to celebrate victory, which came 10 years after her last world title.
New Zealand’s Paige Hareb took the silver, while South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag secured bronze.
While Summer Macedo missed out on the podium, the American’s fourth place finish was enough to qualify her for the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.