Chelsea Tuach. (FILE)
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Barbados’ top surfer Chelsea Tuach is aiming to meet the qualifying standards for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Surfing will make its debut at the Summer Olympic Games and the female surfer, who was recently named ladies champion in the WSL QS 3000 Surf Pro in Martinique, told NATION SPORT there were three possible ways of qualifying for the games and she was utilising all three in hopes of making her attendance a reality.
“I’ll try all three to give myself the best chance. There is the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, in 2019 and so I think Barbados will be sending a team to that and also there is a pre-qualifier this year in December that hopefully Barbados can send the surf team to.
Spot in Olympics
“That is one way I would like to qualify because the gold medallists from the Pan American Games, both men and women, get a spot in the Olympics. So if I win then I am guaranteed to go,” she said.
There is also the International Surfing Association (ISA) Games which involves athletes from a cross-section of surfing nations. The ISA Games will be held in Japan in September.
Nonetheless, with that event only being a pre-qualifier, persons will have to qualify in the ISA Games in 2019 and 2020 with a decent position.
Qualification through this competition depends on the performance of the Barbados team whereas the Pan American Games are considered an individual competition.
Tuach, who is currently ranked 15th in the World Qualifying Series, can also use those competitions as a method of qualifying for the games.
“They said they will take the top rankings from that as well, so I am hoping to keep my ranking up and to get it as high as possible for the next two years to get a spot in the Olympics. It is the first time for surfing in the Olympics and they are still going through how the qualifications will happen.”
This season, which started off in January, has proven to be an action-packed one for Tuach and will force her to remain in competition mode until it cools down in November.
In between competitions she has been working with two Australian coaches as well as Barbadian personal trainer George Griffith of Surfside Gym.
Her next event is a QS 6 000 event in Mexico where she is hoping to raise the bar.
“My next event is quite big, it is a 6000 event. If I do well in that I will be able to raise my ranking from 15 and I am hoping by the end of the year I will be in the top six and get a chance to qualify for the championship tour and the Olympics because I think if I am on the World Championship tour, which is only open to the top 18 women surfers in the world, I can be guaranteed a spot. That’s a big goal for me by 2019,” said Tuach.
So far this year she has also been named women’s champion Renextop Asian Surf Tour Kuta Beach in Bali, Indonesia, and managed to reach the quarter- finals placing fifth in both the WSL QS 3000 Barbados Surf Pro and WSL QS 1000 Krui Pro in Sumatra, Indonesia. (RG)