Sailing: Khng and Tan in fine form ahead of Worlds

SINGAPORE - The second-placed finish by Griselda Khng and Sara Tan at the 49er and 49er FX Youth World Championships on Sunday was a heartening development for the Singapore Sailing Federation (SSF), ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

With the 49er FX Class set to feature at the Olympics for the first time in 2016, SSF high performance manager Chung Pei Ming hopes that Khng and Tan's success will serve as an inspiration for younger sailors to consider taking on the dinghy with a possible Olympic campaign in mind.

Speaking to The New Paper on Monday, he said: "It is a good sign for the youth sailors because we say that the skiff (49er FX) is the way to go for the girls.

"I think it's important that the seniors can send the message back that we have a medal chance in the Olympic classes.

"The good thing about the skiff is that it requires a lot of hours on the boat to train. If you don't clock in the hours, no matter how talented or how good at tactics you are, it will not count."

The Singapore pair finished with 23 points in Gdynia, Poland, eight behind Finnish winners Norra Ruskola and Camilla Cedercreutz (15 points).

Maria Cantero Izquierdo and Ana Hernandez Moreno of Spain (40 points) came in third in the fleet of 12.

This was the third outing for Khng and Tan in Europe in recent months.

They competed in the 49er FX Class in Germany during Kiel Week last month, and in the 49er and 49er FX European Championships in Denmark at the start of the month.

The acid test for the pair will come at the 49er and 49er FX World Championships, which will be held in Marseille, France, from Sept 21-29.

"When they go to the Worlds, they will be racing against grown-ups and it is going to be a very tough class," said Chung.

"There has been a big shuffle in the events at the Olympics and a lot of medallists, ex-Olympians, top 10s in the 470 and match-racing classes are in the skiff class now.

"We won't know how they will fare, but we know they are working hard to catch up with them in terms of their experience."

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