The 2020 World Surfing Games will now take place in May 2021 ©Getty Images

The International Surfing Association (ISA) has moved the 2020 edition of its World Surfing Games to 2021, but the event will still function as a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

El Salvador's El Sunzal and La Bocana waves remain the locations for the event.

It was scheduled for May of this year to begin with, but the COVID-19 pandemic made staging an international competition at that time impossible.

May 8 to 16 next year is teh new window for competition. 

Surfing is due to make its Olympic debut in Japan in 2021 and seven qualification berths - five for men and seven for women - will be on offer at the World Surfing Games.

Each National Olympic Committee can send a maximum of two athletes of each gender to the Olympics and the next edition of the World Surfing Games is the event given priority in the qualification structure, with results achieved in El Salvador trumping other methods of qualification.

Surfing is poised to make its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images
Surfing is poised to make its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

"Given the global trend of the virus, we’ve decided it is the best interests of the health and safety of all involved to reschedule the World Surfing Games to 2021", ISA President Fernando Aguerre said.

"Our decisions have been and will continue to be guided by public health experts and authorities. 

"We are in constant dialogue with our partners and stakeholders - including the World Surf League. 

"We are confident that this postponement will put us in the best position to celebrate a safe and spectacular edition of the event in the lead up to the Olympic Games.

"We will continue to monitor and assess the global situation in the interests of the athletes and teams. 

"Through solidarity we will come out of this situation stronger as a sport, while gaining additional momentum towards Surfing’s Olympic debut."

Kisakihama Beach is Japan hosted the 2019 edition of the World Surfing Games.