Asian Games: Singapore sailors Kimberly Lim and Cecilia Low secure gold in women's 49erFX with one race to spare

Kimberly Lim and Cecilia Low secured the women's 49erFX title on Aug 29, after posting an insurmountable lead of 13 net points after 14 races.
Kimberly Lim and Cecilia Low secured the women's 49erFX title on Aug 29, after posting an insurmountable lead of 13 net points after 14 races.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

JAKARTA - Kimberly Lim and Cecilia Low are already assured of an Asian Games sailing gold with one more day of racing left to go, but they will still spend today - a rest day - as they have the past six days.

Waking up at 8am, going for breakfast, then heading to the Indonesia National Sailing Centre in Jakarta.

Why?

"Because racing is not over. We will keep the routine till the very end. It's out of respect for the competitors and organisers, to perform at our best till the end," said Lim, who turned 22 last Sunday.

Low, 27, added: "It's our normal routine, we do our processes right and stick to what we do every day, even on a rest day."

This routine is one of the reasons the pair are top of the 49erFX fleet with 13 nett points at the moment, ahead of China's He Xian and Yu Xuebin and India's Varsha Gautham and Sweta Shervegar (37 nett points each).

The Singaporeans have been ranked top of the fleet at the end of each day since the races started last Friday, but keeping to the same routine every day has ensured that their concentration has not waned.

They were top at the end of each day, but had not always led during the races, said Low, revealing that they managed to overtake their opponents.

While the feeling of having won gold has not sunk in yet, Lim admitted: "It's a nice feeling because it's an Olympic class and we've been putting in a lot of effort... it was one of our goals for the year and we're very glad we achieved that."

They have each won Asiad gold, albeit with different partners and in different classes.

Low worked with Rachel Lee in the 420 two-person dinghy in 2010, and Lim with Savannah Siew in 2014 in the same category.

Low also won silver in the 29er two-person dinghy with sister Priscilla in 2014.

The duo believe another key reason for their success in Jakarta is their 34th-placed finish at the Aug 4-12 World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, where they had been gunning for qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games.

 

The top eight nations in each class at the World Championships would secure Olympic berths for the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Said Low: "We learnt how each of us reacts to stress differently and how we could help each other bring our strengths out instead of pushing them away."

Lim agreed: "Day by day and through each event, you learn a lot more about yourself and the dynamics of working in a team - how to be efficient and perform at your best.

"There have been many learning points in our journey to Tokyo and I think (from) each regatta, there are great takeaways."

They return to Singapore on Sunday but instead of taking a long break, they intend to go to the gym on Tuesday. They will then leave for Portugal in October for a training camp and regatta.

In Lim's words: "That's sailing for you. Every day is a new day and new race, and (thinking this way) helps keep you focused and on the right track."