Tokyo Olympics: New Zealand confirm Billy Stairmand, Ella Williams as duo to compete in surfing's Olympics debut

  • 28/06/2021

New Zealand will send two surfers to Tokyo, as the sport makes its Olympics debut later this year.

Billy Stairmand and Ella Williams will become New Zealand's first Olympic surfers, with their selections confirmed on Monday.

Both Stairmand, 31, and Williams, 26, earned their selection thanks to their performances at the 2019 International Surfing Association World Games in Japan, as 2020's world championships were cancelled due to COVID-19.

Stairmand has won the New Zealand surfing title eight times, 

"I'd like to thank everyone who has always backed me and believed in me," he says. 

"Anything is possible if you work hard."

Whangamata's Williams meanwhile is the only New Zealand surfer to have won the Women's World Junior Championships, doing so in Brazil in 2013.

Williams placed first among Oceania females at the 2019 World Surfing Games. 

"It's fantastic to have surfing in the Games and to have a male and female New Zealander representing us in Tokyo," says New Zealand Olympic Committee chief executive Kereyn Smith.

"These athletes will be helping to provide surfing with massive global exposure and will help the Olympic Games reach a new audience. 

"We wish you all the best for competition and will be cheering you on."

The Tokyo Olympics' surfing competition will be held at Tsurigasaki Beach, held from July 25 to 28.