King back to steer Olympic surfing charge

Murray WenzelAAP
Andy King will guide Australia's attempt to improve on Owen's Wright's Olympic surfing bronze medal.
Camera IconAndy King will guide Australia's attempt to improve on Owen's Wright's Olympic surfing bronze medal. Credit: EPA

World champion-producing coach Andy King has returned to Surfing Australia to lead them into the sport's second Olympic campaign in 2024.

King mentored Mick Fanning through two championship years before piloting Red Bull's global surf program for seven years.

The former professional then took up a coaching role with Surfing Australia before a stint with Julian Wilson and then Brazil's Gabriel Medina as he clinched a third world title in 2021.

King will replace inaugural program chief Bede Durbidge, who oversaw the sport's Olympic arrival that culminated in an emotional bronze medal to Owen Wright in Japan last year.

Surfing Australia has also recruited acclaimed sports scientist Eric Haakonssen, who previously worked with Australia's cycling team.

The Paris Games' surfing competition will be held far away from France itself, at the famed Teahupo'o break on the French Polynesian island of Tahiti in the Pacific Ocean.

"This (upcoming Olympic period) is the biggest stage in our sport, held at the biggest and best location in the surfing world," King said.

"I'm so honoured to ride with the Australian team into this battle.

"Tahiti will truly showcase what our sport is all about and it is overwhelming to have this opportunity."

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