12/4/2019 10:36:36 PM

Paris 2024 chief confident IOC on board with Tahiti as surf venue

Paris 2024 chief confident IOC on board with Tahiti as surf venue

Lausanne, Switzerland: Tahiti's bid to host the surfing competitions at the 2024 Paris Olympics has not met with resistance from the IOC despite its remote location, according to the head of the competition's organising committee.

The French Polynesian island of almost 200,000 inhabitants is a full 15,700km (9,755 miles) and a 23-hour flight away from the French capital.

However it has emerged as the frontrunner to serve as the host venue for a sport that will make its Olympic debut at next year's Tokyo Games.

The village of Teahupo'o, a regular stop on the World Surf League circuit, boasts some of the biggest waves on the surfing map with regular large waves guaranteed in August.

Asked whether he felt any reluctance on the part of IOC about Tahiti potentially staging the surfing events, Estanguet replied: "No."  

"No decision on the agenda. It was more of an information session for the executive committee," he said on the sidelines of a meeting of the IOC's executive committee.

"The IOC is very much at ease with our methodology, our criteria, the fact we're discussing with our board of directors and that we'll then come back next year with a proposition for ratification."

Four other sites closer to the 2024 Olympic village are still in the running including surfing hotspots in Biarritz and Brittany.

IOC president Thomas Bach is on record as preferring the candidate closest to the host city if there are multiple locations of equal merit.

"At this stage it's not a question of obstacles or reluctance but of work details to follow," said IOC Olympic Games executive director Christophe Dubi. 

The Paris 2024 board of directors will hold a meeting next week with the proposed site for surfing among the topics to be discussed.

"There will be a proposal from Paris to the board of directors with a presentation of their preference. Once it's decided, not necessarily on December 12, it will be presented to the IOC executive committee for approval," he added. 

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