Jia Yi on course to make sailing history

Jia Yi on course to make sailing history

SINGAPORE - Young sailor Loh Jia Yi is on course to become Singapore's first male individual winner at the Optimist World Championships.

At Fraglia Vela Riva in Lake Garda, Italy, the 15-year-old Raffles Institution student is leading the race rankings at the halfway point.

After three of six legs, Germany's Nils Sternbeck, 12, is second, followed by the hosts' Dimitri Peroni, 14, in third.

Said Jia Yi, who enjoyed a day's break on Monday before the competition resumes on Tuesday: "I'm staying calm, confident and taking everything in small steps.

"It feels good to lead but nothing is confirmed yet as we are just halfway through and I still have to fight to make history."

Should he succeed in claiming the title, it would be Singapore's third successive win after victories by Kimberly Lim in 2011 and Yukie Yokoyama last year.

Jia Yi's confidence took a huge boost on Sunday as Singapore retained the team title - their third straight - after beating Italy 2-1 in the best-of-three final.

Besides Jia Yi and Edward Tan, 14, who were part of last year's winning squad, the rest of the five-member team - Koh Yi Kun and Fathin Rasyiqin Mohd Firdaus, both 14, as well as Bertha Han, 15 - are first-timers at the event.

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