By World Sailing
The sailing competition at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou saw six more places claimed for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The men’s dinghy qualification spot went to Singapore while Malaysia made sure they will be on the startline of the women’s dinghy event… All places are subject to official confirmation by World Sailing.
There was no sailing on the final day of the Asian Games at the end of what was otherwise a successful regatta in an excellent venue in Ningbo meaning all of the qualification places were settled on results earlier in the week.
The women’s dinghy place for Paris 2024 was secured for Malaysia thanks to performances by a recent graduate of World Sailing’s Emerging Nations Program (ENP). Nur Shazrin Mohamad Latif won gold in the ILCA 6 just a few weeks after benefiting from ENP support to take part in the Allianz Sailing World Championships. Stephanie Norton of Hong Kong was second while Jing Hua Victoria Chan of Singapore was third.
Latif said: “I’m so happy and my mum will be very proud!
“Every day she’s kept calling me and just telling me to keep calm and stay focussed and no pressure! I didn’t target gold at first because I had just come back from injury and I just said let’s focus on the boat speed and the results will come.”
Ryan Lo, who won men’s dinghy gold in the ILCA 7, finished ahead of Korea’s Jeemin Ha and Vishni Saravanan of India to make sure Singapore will be on the startline at next year’s Olympic Games.
Lo said: “it feels really great, I’m really happy right now and it’s a big relief for me to get a spot for the country for the Olympics. For now, my goal is just to try to do what I can over the next year to see what I can do to improve.
“I didn’t have a very good first day – I was fourth after the first day – so I just had to dig deep and try to be consistent, just try take it one race at a time.”
Lo paid tribute to his family and, in particular, his mother for supporting his sailing career.
He added: “My parents have been very supportive of me, especially my mum. She would come to the sailing club every day and stay the whole day to watch me sail.
“It’s been quite a long journey now – 19 years since I started sailing – and I’m very appreciative of the support I’ve had from my family and friends and the whole system in Singapore.”
David Graham, Chief Executive Officer of World Sailing, has paid tribute to the excellent sailing venue at the 19th Asian Games as well as a “first class event”.
He said: “I was speechless when I came into this sailing centre – it is world class, whether that is the facilities for the athletes and officials, the area where the boats are stored and a nice sheltererd harbour for the boats to get out to the field of play. And the field of play is so picturesque.
“The organisation of the sailing event in the Asian Games is first class – it’s a mixture of local people and experts from other countries who have come together as a team and done a fantastic job. The quality of the racing has been absolutely brilliant.”