Road to Tokyo 2020
The current British surfing number one, Cornish star Luke Dillon, begins his journey to represent Great Britain at the Tokyo Olympics this week in Costa Rica as he competes in the World Surfing League (WSL).
Luke Dillon, 21, grew up in Newquay, Britain’s surfing mecca, and has been numbered within the world’s top 200 surfers since he joined the world circuit in January, having won the British title a year ago and secured a top five finish in his first WSL event in Australia, the destination for the next Commonwealth Games.
Korev-sponsored Luke is the youngest ever British Champion. Now competing on the global stage, Luke is setting his sights on Tokyo by earning enough WSL competition points to ensure he continues to be recognised as the number one British surfer when selection starts shortly.
Surfing was officially confirmed as an Olympic sport on August 3rd this year. The professional and amateur bodies involved in the sport, the World Surfing League and the International Surfing Association (ISA), joined forces over 10 years ago to ensure enough countries were actively involved in surfing in order for it to qualify for inclusion the Olympic Games.
Competition for places at Tokyo will be tough as the 2020 Olympics will welcome only 40 Olympic surfing athletes to the competition based at Shidashita Beach in the region of Chiba, 40 miles outside of Tokyo.
Luke’s goal is to use his early success on the world stage to ensure he is best placed to represent Great Britain at the Olympics, and at the Commonwealth Games 2018 if the sport is included.
Luke’s journey so far has been supported by one of Cornwall oldest companies, St Austell Brewery, who are also the official supporter to Surfing GB, the sports national body.
Luke said: “The decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to include surfing in the Olympic Games was a huge moment for me personally, and it’s come at a perfect time for me: I want to be on the plane to Tokyo to represent my country, and to Australia if it is decided to include the sport in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.”
“This time last year when I won the British title, I was determined to work my way up the ranks. I have trained extremely hard all year, competing against the best of the best at events around the world, from Portugal to Taiwan, and I’ve consistently kept within the top 200 of over 1,500 professional surfers across the world. I would have loved to defend my British title again in 2017 but the WSL schedule doesn’t allow it sadly, so the future is very exciting now that there is an Olympic Games to work towards.”