Sailing: Colin Cheng earns second Olympic outing after winning internal selections

Singapore's Colin Cheng in action at the 28th SEA Games in Singapore.
Singapore's Colin Cheng in action at the 28th SEA Games in Singapore.PHOTO: SINGSOC/ACTION IMAGES VIA REUTERS

SINGAPORE - National sailor Colin Cheng will compete at his second straight Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August, after clinching his spot through internal selection trials.

The 26-year-old, who sails in the Laser Standard, finished 26th overall at the Laser World Championships that concluded on Wednesday in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico. Team-mate Scott Glen Sydney, who was also vying for the Olympic spot, was 49th.

The regatta was the second of two designated by the Singapore Sailing Federation as selection events to decide who will take the lone spot available to compete at the Rio Olympics. Cheng had also posted a better finish than Sydney at the first event, the Trofeo Princesa Sofia regatta in Spain last month. Each qualified country is allowed to field one sailor in each class.

Cheng, who put his studies as a nanotechnology undergraduate at the University of New South Wales on hold for 21/2 years, paid tribute to the support he has received from authorities, coach Brett Beyer, family and friends.

He also said: "Rio, as we saw last year at the test event, will not be an easy venue to race in for a whole variety of reasons. However, my 2012 Games experience gives me confidence that I am competitive against the very best, and gives me a good idea as to the level of consistency required to win a medal."

Cheng finished 15th place at the London Olympics, the Republic's best showing at that level.

Said Beyer: "His sailing technique has come a long way and he is now very competitive in the fresher winds he previously struggled in. At this regatta, there was scope for Colin to be more attacking and this is what will be required in Rio.

"So this will be our focus from now till the Games - developing a confident and attacking attitude is absolutely necessary from here onwards. This is something not easily trained but we have formulas in place to encourage Colin to apply these committed strategies."

Elizabeth Yin also confirmed her nomination to represent Singapore in the Laser Radial upon the conclusion of the Laser Radial Women's World Championship, held in Mexico late last month.

Singapore will be represented by a bumper crop of sailors at these Olympics, with nine sailors competing across six classes.

The sailors' nomination is still subject to approval by the Singapore National Olympic Council.