Huge change in Olympic schedule for first-ever surf final with Tokyo hit by wild tropical storm – but windy conditions could help Aussies hit gold
- Surfing moved to Tuesday due to wild storm arriving in Tokyo
- Windy conditions to deliver better waves and could be a winner for Team Aus
- Sally Fitzgibbons and Owen Wright are both looking for gold medals
Surfing’s first Olympic finals will be pushed back 24 hours to Tuesday due to the tropical storm that will hit Tokyo.
The predicted high winds are expected to bring in better waves, persuading Games officials to adjust the surf schedule.
Australian pair Sally Fitzgibbons and Owen Wright enjoyed the windy conditions to secure a quarter-final berth on Monday and could take advantage of the tropical storm in their pursuit of gold.
“Following a review of forecasted surfing conditions for Tuesday and Wednesday, tournament officials have decided to move the women’s and men’s Olympic surf finals from Wednesday to Tuesday,” a Games statement said.
Sally Fitzgibbons (pictured Monday) enjoyed the windy conditions and will compete for gold on Tuesday
Ms Fitzgibbons, 30, (pictured Monday) secured a quarter-final spot in an impressive performance on day four
“The Technical Director of the International Surfing Association has assessed the overall impact of the surf forecast on the last day of competition and adjusted the schedule.”
The men’s quarter-finals will now take place at 7 a.m., followed by the women’s quarter-finals at 11:12 a.m.
The men’s semifinals are scheduled for 11:48 a.m. and the women’s semifinals at 1:00 p.m.
The bronze medal matches will start at 2:16 PM (men) and 3:01 PM (women), with the men’s gold medal at 3:46 PM and the women’s gold medal at 4:31 PM.
Tokyo organizers had previously said they had no plans to move more events for the Games as Tropical Storm Nepartak swept into Japan’s main island.
Owen Wright (pictured Monday) could take advantage of the tropical storm in its quest for gold
Rowing and archery events have been postponed due to the storm expected to sweep across Japan’s northeast coast on Tuesday, bringing heavy rain to the capital.
Rowing events were moved to later in the week, while Monday’s events were moved to Sunday in anticipation of the storm.
The rain also threatens Tuesday’s two medal games for softball. Canada, battling for bronze, said their flights home are scheduled for Wednesday, with the next one possibly not until Saturday, as the pandemic has limited options.
The storm will move north of Tokyo, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.