Two-time world champion Tyler Wright will head Australia’s challenge for surfing gold at this year’s Olympics after she was named as part of a four-strong Irukandjis team.

The 30-year-old will hope to emulate her brother Owen who won Australia’s first Olympic surfing medal in Tokyo three years ago.

Wright will be joined in Tahiti, which will host the event — Paris not being blessed with surfing venues, by Molly Picklum, Jack Robinson and Ethan Ewing. All four will be making their Olympic debut.

Besides Wright, who was world champion in 2016 and 2017, 21-year-old Picklum is currently second on the World Surf League (WSL) world rankings and has twice won on the Championship Tour (CT).

“To see surfing in the Olympics in Tokyo 2020 was kind of surreal,” said Wright.

“The Olympics for me is something I’ve sat down since I was young and just spent two weeks absolutely obsessing over the sport. To see my own sport there was kind of weird but so cool. I’m excited to see where it can go from here.

“Teahupo’o is a massive wave of consequence. It’s beautiful, it’s raw and it’s a wave where you don’t want to find out the consequences. You want to go in with a really humble and respectful approach to Mother Nature and what she produces.

“More than likely I’m going to be scared, but it’s being honest with that and sticking to what’s important for me in that opportunity, that’s all I can ask for myself.”

Australian Olympic team Chef de Mission Anna Meares congratulated the quartet.

“Surfing has been such an incredible addition to the Olympic programme. The Olympic movement, athletes and fans have enjoyed welcoming our Australian surfers and the Aussie surfing community has embraced being part of the broader Olympic family,” she said.

“Tyler, Molly, Jack and Ethan have already shown they are among the best surfers in the world, and I know Aussie fans are going to be cheering them on in Tahiti in July. Congratulations as well to the team at Surfing Australia and the coaches, family members and supporters that have helped these four athletes achieve this Olympic milestone today.”


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