Team Singapore’s sailors have given a major boost to the sport in the Republic with their performances at the Rio Games, even if they were unable to reach the top end of the standings, says Singapore Sailing Federation Performance Director Chua Tan Ching.
The biggest ever sailing team representing the country at an Olympics has gained valuable experience and insight which should pay off for the country in competitions in the coming years, believes Chua, popularly known in the sailing fraternity as ‘TC’.
TeamSG sailor Colin Cheng in action in the Men's Laser event. Photo: Sport Singapore
“It is the first time we fielded such a big sailing team with representation in seven events and a team of ten sailors. For the sport of sailing and windsurfing in Singapore, it is a great boost and we certainly hope through the Games we can promote the sports to the general public,” he said.
There had been hopes that one or two of the team might have made the final stages of competition and while that was not to be, Chua says the overall effort in Rio came from a clear plan.
“As for performance, we had expected better performance in some events but the number of events participated is the result of Olympic Pathway Taskforce guiding the campaign. For the sport, it opens up more opportunities for performance sailing in Singapore. With this experience, the sailing team is better prepared for our campaign towards Tokyo 2020 games,” he added.
Griselda Khng and Sarah Tan finished 15th out of 20 in the FX Women’s Event, while Jovina Choo and Amanda Ng finished 20th in the 470 Women’s Event.
TeamSG sailors Griselda Khng and Sara Tan in action in the Women's 49er FX event. Photo: Sport Singapore
In Nacra 17 Mixed Event, TeamSG sailors Justin Liu and Denise Lim finished 19th out of 20 while in the Laser Men Event, Colin Cheng scored a total net point of 160 and he finished 20th out of 46 in the overall ranking after his ten races.
In the Laser Radial Women Event, Elizabeth Yin finished 26th out of 37 in the overall ranking (after 10 races).
“The Olympics is definitely a big experience for them. The learning curve is steep and the sailors understand clearly what it means to campaign and progress towards the attainment of medals,” said Chua.
With next year’s SEA Games on the horizon, there is plenty to focus on the minds of the sailors who will be continuing their progress in the sport.
“Our sailors takes every major games seriously as it is serves as benchmarks for other events,” said Chua.
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