The Asian Surfing Championships Maldives 2023, set to be hosted in Kaafu atoll Thulusdhoo, was officially launched on Monday, May 15.
During a special ceremony, the tournament was launched by Ahmed Mahloof, the Maldives Minister of Youth, Sports, and Community Empowerment.
After a three-year hiatus, the tournament is set to make a return, with the dates scheduled from July 8 to 17.
The tournament was last held in Japan in 2018 during which Maldivian pro-surfer Hussain Areef (Iboo) and Ismail Rasheed (Smiley) competed at the final heat. Hussain Areef won third place, while Ismail Rasheed secured the fourth position.
The upcoming championship will feature shortboard competitions for both male and female categories, along with a dedicated junior surfing division. Maldives will compete in the male open division as well as the male junior division for the tournament.
In the male open division, a total of eight Maldivian surfers will compete, including six athletes from the Maldives national surfing squad, as well as two wild-card entries that will be secured by surfers from Thulusdhoo, the event venue.
The Maldives national surfing squad currently consists of Ahmed Ageel (Ammadey), Najah Mohamed (Kabo), Jailam Nizaar, Hoodh Ahmed (Hoobz), Ismail Rasheed (Smiley), and Hussain Areef (Iboo).
In addition to Iboo and Smiley, Thulusdhoo born Ammadey had also participated in the 2018 championship.
Among the Maldives national junior squad comprising of 12 athletes, six of them will be participating in the upcoming surfing championship.