Twenty-year-old surfer Kanoa Igarashi, a dual citizen of Japan and the United States, has been named to the Japan national team for the first time, the Nippon Surfing Association said Tuesday.
Along with 55 other men, including 2015 U.S. Open of Surfing winner Hiroto Ohara, and 26 women, Igarashi will represent Japan in surfing events in the 2018 season as he seeks a place in the team at the 2020 Tokyo Games when the sport makes its Olympic debut.
Since he was 18, Igarashi has been competing on the Championship Tour, an elite World Surf League men’s tour on which a Japanese surfer has only competed as a wildcard entry in the past.
Igarashi, who was born to immigrant parents in California where he grew up, will take part in a two-day training camp in March when all 82 surfers will gather in Chiba Prefecture.
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