SINGAPORE - Singapore's Nacra 15 sailors qualified for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Monday (Jan 15) after finishing the Australian Youth Sailing Championships in Queensland as the top Asian nation.
The Oceania and Asia YOG qualifying regatta was held from Jan 11 to 15, with the Republic's Chia Teck Pin and Sophia Rose Meyers finishing 10th (78 net points).
Team-mates Raynn Kwok and Vicke Young were 11th (83) while China's Dong Ying and Zhou Jie were bottom (87) among 13 teams.
The top nine spots in that regatta were filled with Australian pairs, with the duo of Will Cooley and Evie Haseldine winning the competition with 18 net points.
Singapore's Nacra 15 coach Terence Koh said in a media statement on Monday: "It was a challenging regatta given the conditions - light winds at the start and strong winds at the end - and even the top Australian teams struggled a little in the conditions.
"In the light winds, the results of this regatta shows that we can really be competitive against the best in the world."
"Qualification was the goal at this event and the sailors did the job, but there are plenty of things to improve on. The sailors have trained very hard since getting on the boat. We've seen a big jump in performance since their first competition and we look forward to pushing on in the coming months.
"The journey is just starting and the real work begins now."
The two Singaporean pairs have had to play catch-up with the Chinese duo for much of the regatta, but Sophia and Teck Pin edged ahead after winning the 10th race in the 12-race regatta.
Sophia said: "The journey so far has been intense and even a little emotional as well. I am quite happy with our progress so far but certainly not satisfied with where we are at. We know that qualifying is just the beginning and we look forward to more of these racing experience."
The teams will head to the Nacra15 World Championship in Barcelona, Spain, in April to determine which pair will represent the Republic at the YOG.
Singapore won a bronze in the Techno 293 windsurfing class at the inaugural 2010 YOG in Singapore and captured two golds in the Byte CII class at the 2014 Nanjing edition.