Silver medal lifts Ryan Lo's confidence ahead of Olympic qualification
Singapore sailor Ryan Lo gained a crucial confidence booster in his bid to qualify for next year's Tokyo Olympics, after winning a silver medal in the men's laser class during the Sailing World Cup Series Final that ended on Sunday in France.
Although the June 2-9 regatta in Marseille had no bearing on his Olympic qualification, it provided him with vital experience in various water and wind conditions before his next meet.
Next month, Lo, 22, will be taking part in the Laser World Championships in Sakaiminato, Japan, where he will be staking his claim for a ticket to the Olympics.
During the July 1-9 meet, he will have to finish among the top five countries who have not qualified for Tokyo 2020.
Lo, who returned home last night after training and competing in Europe for three months, told TNP through a phone interview that the five-day race in Marseille was an ideal practice before the world championships.
"We had all kinds of conditions from strong to medium winds, to flat water and big waves," he said.
"It was a good experience to show off your skills because we had to perform in a variety of conditions and to see how you can adapt."
In Marseille, the medal race of the men's laser class - which had seven participants - was abandoned due to light winds. Only nine races were completed.
Lo finished second with 24 points, just two more than Italian Giovanni Coccoluto, the eventual champion.
Lo's compatriots Justin Liu and Denise Lim also competed in Marseille. They finished 18th out of 24 in the Nacra 17 event.
After next month's world meet in Japan, he still has another chance to qualify for Tokyo 2020 when he takes part in the Asian Sailing Championships in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in March next year.
The spexScholar is confident about his chances after training in countries such as Croatia, Spain, Italy, Portugal and France.
"I've definitely improved a lot with all the racing experience I've gathered to prepare me for the world championship," he said.
"I will try to consolidate what I've learnt and apply them all during the competition. Anything can happen, nothing is too certain."
Lo's ranking of world No. 55 and third in Asia is expected to rise after his silver-medal win.
When asked what he missed about home, he said: "It would be my family, my bed and homecooked food!" - ADEENA NAGIB