Jordy Smith takes to the air at the Corona Open JBay, the sixth stop on the 2019 World Surf League Championship Tour. Photo: Kody McGregor

PORT ELIZABETH – South Africa’s No 6 world-ranked surfer Jordy Smith is in a strong position to qualify for next year’s 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

Surfing is one of four sports that will debut at the 2020 Olympics.

Smith, along with some of the world's best surfers, are presently in action at the 2019 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) event in the Eastern Cape town of Jeffreys Bay.

“To be the first South African surfer to go would be a great honour, and I’m working towards that goal,” said Smith in an interview.

The final rankings will be determined following the final CT events of 2019 (the Hawaii Pro and Billabong Pipe Masters).

While the world rankings will determine the first 18 eligible Olympic qualifiers (10 men and eight women), the remaining 22 places will be determined at the 2019 and 2020 ISA World Surfing Games, the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, and a single slot (each for men and women) for the host nation, Japan.

There is a maximum of two men and two women for each country that can qualify.

To celebrate the countdown to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the WSL has launched worldsurfleague.com/2020 where fans can follow the qualification race and see the rankings.

African News Agency (ANA)