- WSL / Matt Dunbar

SHIDA POINT, ICHINOMIYA, CHIBA/JPN (Wednesday, December 15, 2021) - After more than a two-year hiatus, the World Surf League (WSL) is excited to announce it will be returning to Japan for the inaugural Asia Open Qualifying Series (QS) 1000 and Pro Junior events to run at Shida Point in Chiba from March 21 - 27, 2022.

The Asia Open will be held at Shida Point in Ichinomiya Chiba, home of surfing's maiden appearance in the Olympic Games and the heartland of surfing in Japan. The event will see over 150 competitors from all over Asia descend on Chiba to compete for a spot on the 2022 Challenger Series.

"WSL is thrilled to be returning to Japan to re-launch the Asia region's QS and Pro Junior tours and see Asia's best competitors duke it out for a spot in the Challenger Series once again," said WSL Asia Pacific General Manager Andrew Stark. "It's been a tough few years for international events and we are extremely happy to be back in Japan with such a strong surfing culture and to be holding the opening WSL QS event of the regional tour at the location that put surfing on the global map during the Tokyo Games earlier this year, Shida Point in Chiba. This event will play a pivotal role in deciding which surfers from the Asia region will land a spot on the WSL Challenger Series for 2022 and aim to make it to the elite Championship Tour. WSL would also like to express our deepest gratitude to the people of Ichinomiya Town and to the sponsors of this event."

The Asia Open is expected to attract the best competitors from Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, and South Korea among other countries in the region. One of the favourites to take out the event however will be Olympian Hiroto Ohhara, and local Reo Inaba along with Women's Olympic Bronze Medalist Amuro Tsuzuki and Shun Murakami as well as emerging talents Tenshi Iwami and Anon Matsuoka.

Along with the WSL QS1,000 event the Asia Open will host the region's top 20 and under surfers for a WSL Pro Junior event which will help decide Asia's representatives at the 2022 WSL World Junior Championships.

Mr. Kiyohisa Uzawa, Member of the Town Council, Ichinomiya Town said: "I would like to continue to create a place for those who will lead the next generation of surfers. The administration of Chiba Prefecture and Ichinomiya Town would like to continue to hold the World Class surfing event at Tsurigasaki Beach (Shidashita) as an Olympic legacy. We are very happy to welcome WSL surfers to our city and looking forward to seeing you at the Tsurigasaki Beach next March."

The Asia Open World Surf League event will run from March 21 - 27 2022.

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