Local sailor Victoria Chan has clinched a surprise berth to represent Singapore in the women's Laser Radial class when the SEA Games are held here from June 5-16.
The 24-year-old secured the spot yesterday after emerging tops over Singapore Sailing Federation's two internal trials. The selection was held over two weekends at the National Sailing Centre.
She beat the likes of compatriot Elizabeth Yin, who represented the Republic at the 2012 Olympic Games and last September's Asian Games.
Yin was also responsible for qualifying Singapore for the 2016 Olympics. She finished second overall and will be pencilled in to be part of the Laser Radial Team Racing event with Jessica Goh.
Said Chan, a final-year sports science and management undergraduate at the Nanyang Technological University: "When you go into a selection regatta, you have to go in with a mindset to win.
"I've been training in Singapore so perhaps my local knowledge (of the conditions here) helped."
Colin Cheng, a bronze medallist at last year's Asian Games, will fly the national flag in the Laser Standard event, pipping team-mate Scott Glen Sydney, who will form the team for the Laser Standard Team event with Ryan Lo.
The 25-year-old was the top Asian at the 2012 London Olympics and has also earned the Republic a berth at next year's Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
But winning the internal selection trials was never a given for Cheng. "The conditions here are quite tricky and things can change very quickly if I'm not in the right place," he said.
Cheng will return today to Sydney, where he is based, to resume training. He will spend the next few months competing in Auckland and on the European circuit before returning to Singapore a few weeks before the SEA Games to prepare for the biennial event.
"For me, the big objective is the Olympics and the SEA Games will be a stepping stone towards that," said Cheng, who has deferred his studies at the University of New South Wales until after the Olympics in 2016. "The SEA Games will be difficult no matter what. I will be looking at the big picture, and continue to work on tactics, technique and fitness to become a better sailor."
Darren Choy and Jeremiah Yeo won the selection trials for the men's 470 event, while Savannah Siew and Amanda Ng were tops in the women's 470.
The sailors still have to be endorsed by a selection panel set up by SingaporeSailing, before the federation submits the names to the Singapore National Olympic Council for approval.
A provisional list of athletes selected for the SEA Games is expected to be released at the end of the month.
This article was first published on Jan 12, 2015.
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