Kirsty Coventry has been appointed the vice-president of the ISA ©Getty Images

Five-time Olympic swimmer Kirsty Coventry is set to be elected unopposed as vice-president of the International Surfing Association (ISA) at the body's Annual General Meeting in the Azores.

The Zimbabwean, who swam at last month's Games while also serving as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes' Commission, is set to replace Australia's Layne Beachley.

She will serve on the ISA Executive Committee alongside ISA President Fernando Aguerre and fellow vice-presidents Casper Steinfath of Denmark, Karin Sierralta of Peru and Barbara Kendall of New Zealand.

The 33-year-old, who is Africa’s most successful Olympian of all time and the top individual female swimmer in Olympic history, will also become the world governing body's main link with the IOC after Kendall completed her Athletes' Commission term last month.

She will also become the first ISA Executive Committee member from Africa.

“I am thrilled to be joining Fernando and the ISA team as vice-president at such an exciting time following surfing’s inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games," Coventry said.

"I am looking forward to getting to work as we prepare for the sport’s ground-breaking debut in Tokyo and beyond.

“Surfing expresses a unique and modern blend of sport performance, culture and a connection to nature that resonates with my own global outlook. 

"Throughout my career, both as an athlete and as an administrator, I have been presented with some amazing opportunities and I am excited to be starting this new adventure with the ISA.”

Kirsty Coventry will replace Barbara Kendall as being the IOC representative among the ISA leadership ©Getty Images
Kirsty Coventry will replace Barbara Kendall as being the IOC representative among the ISA leadership ©Getty Images

This comes after surfing was one of five new sports added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic programme, along with baseball and softball, karate, skateboarding and sport climbing.

Coventry claimed 200 metres backstroke gold, 100m backstroke silver and 200m individual medley bronze at Athens 2004 before successfully defending her 200m backstroke title in Beijing along with two other silver medals.

She is also a member of the IOC's Olympic Solidarity and Olympic Channel Commissions as the well as the Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission and 2024 Olympics Evaluation Commission.

The 33-year-old will be elected unopposed at the AGM taking place during the World Junior Surfing Championships in the Azores Islands.

“We are honoured to be welcoming Kirsty as ISA vice-president," added Aguerre.

"Her outstanding career as an elite athlete tells you everything you need to know about her commitment, dedication and talent and I know she will add a great deal to our team. 

"As an IOC Member, Kirsty also has very strong links with the Olympic Movement. 

"This connection will be invaluable to the ISA as we prepare for surfing’s Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.

“Surfing’s unique values are rooted in inclusivity and diversity and we are delighted that Kirsty is set to become the ISA’s first ever female vice-president from Africa. 

"Global development is a key element of the ISA’s strategy and the consistent growth and reach amongst all areas of society is a driving force behind the ISA’s ambitions to solidify Surfing’s position on the Olympic Programme.”