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Japan hosts World Surfing Games ahead of sport's debut at Tokyo Olympics

Kanoa Igarashi rides a wave in the World Surfing Games in the city of Tahara, Aichi Prefecture, on Sept. 17, 2018. (Mainichi)

TAHARA, Aichi -- The World Surfing Games is underway at this city's Long Beach ahead of the sport becoming an official event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The competition is organized by the International Surfing Association (ISA) and 197 surfers from 42 countries are taking part. Japan's team consists of three men, including Kanoa Igarashi who recently won US Open of Surfing for the second straight year, and three women.

On Sept. 17, the second day of competition, spectators at the beach cheered on Igarashi as he carved up the big waves. The final of the event is scheduled for Sept. 21 for men and Sept. 22 for women.

The World Surfing Games was last held in Japan 28 years ago.

(Japanese original by Takehiko Onishi, Nagoya Photo Group)

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