History-making moment: 15-Year-Old Chinese surfer Yang Siqi qualifies for surfing competition at Paris 2024
Published: Mar 04, 2024 12:50 AM
Yang Siqi with ISA President Fernando Aguerre after qualified for Paris 2024. Photo: International Surfing Association

Yang Siqi with ISA President Fernando Aguerre after qualified for Paris 2024. Photo: International Surfing Association



Yang Siqi, a young talent hailing from Sichuan, China, secured her spot at the Paris Olympics during the 2024 ISA World Surfing Games (WSG) in Arecibo, Puerto Rico on March 1st, local time. She will be the first surfer to represent China in Olympic surfing.

Yang, recognized as a power surfer, possesses a keen sense of the water, boldness, an all-around explosive technique, and a diverse range of moves, as described by her coaches. Despite finishing 31st out of over 130 female competitors at the previous 2023 ISA WSG in El Salvador, she drew significant attention. Her standout performances were praised on the International Surfing Association official website, with high expectations set for her future growth. This time in Puerto Rico, the Chinese young surfer not only met but exceeded the outside world's expectations, fulfilling her dream.

The 2024 ISA WSG served as Yang Siqi's final opportunity to qualify for Paris 2024. She emerged victorious with a score of 11.83 in the Repechage Round 6, securing her clean sweep of the Olympic qualification among the last four competitors.

In an interview, Yang expressed her surprise at obtaining the Olympic qualification, saying, "At that moment, I was ranked first, and we were ready to go. The staff called us to wait, and I did not think it was for the Paris 2024 qualification. When they told me that I had qualified, I was particularly excited; I felt my hands shaking! Because the goal I set in 2022, I accomplished!"

The Chinese Surf Team, established in 2018, has been diligently working towards closing the gap between itself and the world's high level. Despite surfing being added as an official competition event only at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the level of popularity and professionalism in the sport is remarkably high internationally. The team has been actively training abroad, spending five months overseas in both 2022 and 2023.

Yang shared her elation, saying, "The Olympic dream is my dream, to qualify for the Olympics. I'm super happy, super excited to accomplish this today. Thanks to my country for supporting me to be here, and to my coach for bringing me to this level. I'm so happy; I've been training so hard for this."

The surfing competition at the 2024 Paris Olympics is scheduled to take place in Teahupo'o, Tahiti, an archipelago in French Polynesia situated in the Pacific Ocean. Twenty-four surfers, both men and women, from around the world are expected to gather and captivate spectators in the challenging waves.