Teams are practicing in Jacó for the weekend start of surfing games

Costa Rica’s Selección Nacional de Surf will be training this morning in Jacó in preparation for the World Surfing Games that begin Saturday with a parade of nations and an opening ceremony.

This is a big deal for Jacó and the entire central Pacific coast. Area residents and health officials worked for months to reduce the possibility of zika infections by spraying and by eliminating receptacles where mosquitoes can breed.

The health measures appear to have been a success because the last Ministerio de Salud report showed a few more than 100 cases in the canton.

The actual surf competitions begin Sunday and run through finals on the following Sunday. Aug. 14 also is when a round of drug testing has been promised for successful competitors.

Team registrations began Tuesday. Most of the action will be in the surf in front of the Hotel Best Western, said the International Surfing Association, the sponsor.

Each national team can field four men and two women who compete for individual medals. Their scores are figured to determine a team winner.

The International Surfing Association will be streaming the competitions live online HERE!

The event may be the first competition where the sport has Olympic status. The International Olympic Committee is

meeting today in Rio to vote if surfing will be included in the 2020 Tokyo games, the surfing association has said.

Costa Rica is the reigning world surfing champions. The national team won last year when the event was held in Nicaragua.

The competition was held in Playa Hermosa in 2009 and attracted tens of thousands of fans. Jacó supporters estimated that the games will bring in around $35 million to the country.

Noe Mar McGonagle holds the Costa Rican flag high after becoming the open men’s gold medalist at the 2015 World Surfing Games.

Noe Mar McGonagle holds the Costa Rican flag high after becoming the open men’s gold medalist at the 2015 World Surfing Games.

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