Sailing: Justin Liu & Denise Lim make history by winning Nacra 17 event at World Cup leg in Qingdao

Sailors Justin Liu (right) and Denise Lim (left) made history by winning the Nacra 17 event at the Qingdao leg of the International Sailing Federation (Isaf) World Cup. They are the first Singaporeans to win a World Cup event.
Sailors Justin Liu (right) and Denise Lim (left) made history by winning the Nacra 17 event at the Qingdao leg of the International Sailing Federation (Isaf) World Cup. They are the first Singaporeans to win a World Cup event. PHOTO: INTERNATIONAL SAILING FEDERATION

SINGAPORE - Sailors Justin Liu and Denise Lim won the Nacra 17 event at the Qingdao leg of the International Sailing Federation (Isaf) World Cup on Sunday afternoon, making history by becoming the first Singaporeans to win a World Cup event.

They began the medal race with a demanding 14-point lead in the 10-strong fleet, but needed to do well enough in the last race to ensure victory. The medal race is worth double the points and not discardable. Liu and Lim, who have been dominant all week in the regatta, finished first in the medal race.

By winning the event, they also grab the lone slot available at the regatta to qualify Singapore for the Olympic Games next year in Rio de Janeiro. The Qingdao event was the Asian qualifier to the quadrennial event, and also the pair's last shot at earning the Republic a place in Rio.

Nacra 17 is a mixed gender event making its debut at the Olympics next year.

While Liu and Lim have earned the spot for Singapore, they will still need to go through internal trials held by the Singapore Sailing Federation to be pencilled in as the ones to eventually represent Singapore.

Team-mates Priscilla Low and Lee Shu Xian had also on Saturday earned Singapore an Olympic slot in the women's 470 event. Singapore is now qualified in four sailing classes, on top of the Laser Standard and Laser Radial events.