Daniel helps S'pore retain Asian title

National sailor Muhammad Daniel Kei Yazid was crowned champion at the Asian & Oceanian Optimist Championships yesterday, improving on his runner-up position last year.

Daniel, who turns 13 this year, finished tops in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. Team-mate Daniel Ian Toh finished in second place, while Jodie Lai's fourth overall position also made her the top girl.

The result means Singapore, a world powerhouse in the 15-and-under sailing class and the current world champions, retains the Asian title won last year by Daniel Hung.

In the team racing event, the Republic's team - it also included Raynn Kwok and Daniel Hung - finished second, having been defeated 2-1 by Malaysia in the final.

Said Jodie, a 2014 Asian Games champion and reigning world champion in the same class: "Winning the top girl's title was not easy for me. I feel very grateful towards my parents, coaches, friends and many others for their constant support and encouragement throughout this whole competition, without whom none my accomplishments would have been possible."

Added Chua Tan Ching, head of performance for the Singapore Sailing Federation: "We have a pool of promising young sailors in the Optimist team. Guided by our Olympic Pathway, and with our performance programmes and initiatives, we are on the right path. We must continue to steer in the right direction and remain focused as we work towards the bigger picture that is the world championships, and eventually, the Olympic Games."

Sailing will be represented by a bumper crop of Singaporeans at the Rio de Janeiro Games in August, with nine sailors qualifying across six classes.

May Chen

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 06, 2016, with the headline 'Daniel helps S'pore retain Asian title'. Print Edition | Subscribe