13-year-old sailor strikes gold at Asian Games as youngsters make their mark
Earlier this month, sailors Colin Cheng and Elizabeth Yin secured spots for Singapore at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the Laser and Laser Radial classes.
And the fine run continued for SingaporeSailing as their sailors kept up the winning tradition at the Asian Games when they bagged two golds, two silvers and two bronze medals in Incheon, South Korea, at the end of fleet racing at the Wangsan Sailing Marina yesterday.
Two young guns, who have yet to reach 1.50 metres, stood tall, creating Singapore sailing history.
Jodie Lai, 13, became Singapore's youngest Asian Games gold medallist when she won the women's Optimist event with a net score of 22 points after 12 races, four ahead of China's Yu Huijia and Thailand's Kamonchanok Klahan.
Meanwhile, 12-year-old Raynn Kwok became Singapore's youngest Asian Games medallist when he picked up a silver medal in the men's Optimist- with a net score of 36 points after 12 races, 20 behind winner Park Sungbin from South Korea, and one ahead of Thailand's Suthon Yampinid.
Jodie, a student at Raffles Girls' School, said: "Today's races went according to plan. I won the first race (Race 11) and got third for the second (Race 12), so today was good.
"I really wanted to get the races over and done with, so when they decided to postpone for a day (on Tuesday, due to poor wind conditions), I was very nervous because I didn't know what the winds would be like the next day.
"But I just told myself to think positive. I maintained my lead, forgot about the past and just tried my best for the next two races, and I'm very happy to win gold for Singapore."
Savannah Siew and Kimberly Lim, both 18, also delivered gold in the women's 420 with a net score of 18 points after 12 races, five ahead of Malaysia.
Said Lim: "The win feels really good because it's our last event together. This was three years in preparation and we just followed our routine and did what we did best."
Siew added: "We had a bad start in Race 11 (finishing third out of six pairs), but we won our next race and I'm very happy we eventually won the gold."
Meanwhile, sisters Priscilla and Cecilia Low bagged a silver in the women's 29er, their 12-race net score of 21 points second only to Thailand's 19 points.
There were also two bronzes, coming from Cheng in the men's Laser, and the men's 420 pair of Jonathan Yeo and Loh Jia Yi.
In the RS:One - women's windsurfing event - Audrey Yong finished fourth out of seven sailors, while Yin also finished fourth out of eight sailors in the women's Laser Radial.
In the RS:X - men's windsurfing event - Leonard Ong finished eighth out of nine sailors.
The J80 Open Match Racing crew of Maximilian Soh, Andrew Chan, Russell Kan, Christopher Lim and Justin Wong could add another gold on the final day of racing today.
At the last Asian Games in 2010, Singapore's sailors won two golds, two silvers and four bronze medals. Their best haul was in the 2006 edition, where they topped the field with five golds, three silvers, and two bronzes.