Sailing: Griselda Khng and Sara Tan earn Singapore one more spot at Rio Olympics

Singapore's sailors Griselda Khng (left) and Sara Tan who won gold in the 49er in the three-fleet race at the 28th Sea Games on 14 June 2015. They beat Malaysia and Thailand, who got silver and bronze respectively.
Singapore's sailors Griselda Khng (left) and Sara Tan who won gold in the 49er in the three-fleet race at the 28th Sea Games on 14 June 2015. They beat Malaysia and Thailand, who got silver and bronze respectively.PHOTO: SINGSOC/ REUTERS
Singapore's Griselda Khng (left) and Sara Li won gold at the women's skiff 49erFX event at the 28th Sea Games 2015.
Singapore's Griselda Khng (left) and Sara Li won gold at the women's skiff 49erFX event at the 28th Sea Games 2015.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

SINGAPORE - National sailors Griselda Khng and Sara Tan have clinched another berth for Singapore at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics next year, after qualifying in the 49erFX at the ongoing world championships in Buenos Aires.

The duo finished 13th out of 44 boats at the regatta, doing well enough to take one of the three spots available for the quadrennial event in August next year.

Both have been partners and campaigning on the 49erFX skiff, which is making its Olympic debut, since 2013.

They posted on their Facebook page shortly after their last race: "Mission accomplished! We did it! We qualified Singapore for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games!

"A huge thank you to our government, federation, coach, family, friends and all those who have believed in us and supported us along the way!"

Said coach Fernando Alegre: "The whole year has been extremely hard. The girls had to try to gain weight (for the boat), and they had a lot of catching up to do with people that were ahead of them. It's been a difficult road but finally it was achieved."

Their spots, however, are yet to be guaranteed. The world championships was the first of two events that the Singapore Sailing Federation has earmarked as nomination events. It carries a heavier weightage, with the second regatta - the Trofeo S.A.R Princesa Sofia regatta in Spain next March carrying a lighter weightage.

Cecilia Low and Kimberly Lim finished 27th in Buenos Aires.

Singapore will send eight sailors to the Rio Games next year, its biggest squad of sailors since the 2008 edition, when six were sent.