OFF the back of Surfing Australia’s Olympic readiness camp in January – where Australia’s top surfing athletes deemed most likely to be in contention for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games spent three days together – a consolidated group of 16 athletes have now been named in the 2018 Australian national squad.
The squad, headlined by Culburra Beach siblings, Owen, Tyler and Mikey Wright as well as Gerroa’s Sally Fitzgibbons, was selected by the Surfing Australia national selection committee.
The Surfing Australia national selection committee includes seven time world champion Layne Beachley, four time world champion Mark Richards, ex-WSL surfer and talent pathway coach Kate Wilcomes, three time world champion Mick Fanning and Surfing Australia elite program manager Bede Durbidge.
“It gave me great pleasure to announce this incredibly talented Australian national squad at the Surfing Australia Awards on Tuesday night on the Gold Coast,” Durbidge aid.
“With the World Surf League World Championship Tour season about to kick-start this weekend at Snapper Rocks, we at Surfing Australia want to support this squad as best we can to achieve their goals.”
Surfing Australia national high performance director Kim Crane echoed Durbidge’s thoughts.
“This group of athletes are already making their mark on the international stage, and the character and courage they display in their quest to become world’s best is an absolute credit to them,” Crane said.
“As a sport, we are grateful to have such incredible role models, and in identifying this group as our highest priority, we will do whatever we can to support their journey.”
Surfing Australia CEO Andrew Stark is excited to continue to build towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – following the camp in January.
“The talent pool is a deep one in Australia and it was extremely tough for the selection panel to narrow the squad down, to the 16 athletes we have announced,” Stark said.
“These athletes are deemed most likely to represent Australia in the Japan 2020 Olympics and we look forward to working with them on their quest for WSL Tour victory and towards Japan 2020 gold medals.”
2018 Australian national squad: Julian Wilson, Matt Wilkinson, Owen Wright, Connor O’Leary, Adrian Buchan, Wade Carmichael, Mikey Wright, Ethan Ewing, Stuart Kennedy, Tyler Wright, Stephanie Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons, Nikki van Dijk, Keely Andrew, Bronte Macaulay and Macy Callaghan.