Sailing: Singapore's Lo boosted by 16th placing at European Olympic qualifier ahead of Tokyo Games

SINGAPORE – Just weeks after clinching an Olympic quota spot for Singapore, national Laser Standard sailor Ryan Lo put in another impressive shift to finish 16th out of 139 sailors at the April 17-24 European Olympic qualifiers.

With the field at the ILCA Vilamoura European Continental Qualification in Portugal comprising some of the world’s top sailors, Lo believes his performances over the past week are a timely boost ahead of the Tokyo Games. The regatta was won by reigning world champion Philipp Buhl of Germany and included the likes of Croatian Olympic silver medallist Tonci Stipanovic.

Lo, 24, said: “I’m pretty satisfied with my work here in Vilamoura. I raced quite well against a very high level group of sailors, a lot of the sailors here were all pushing really hard and in top form because it was a major competition for many countries.

“I thought I raced the event strategically and tactically pretty good. I was very focused for the event and able to execute my plans quite well. I’m just happy with the decisions I made and how I adapted to the situations.”

He was pleased with the improvements that he had made since last October’s 2020 Laser Senior European Championships & Open European Trophy in Gdansk, Poland, where he finished 21st out of 126 sailors.

Referring to his coach Nenad Viali, he said: “We didn’t have many racing opportunities so we weren’t able to replicate it so much because we didn’t have such a big fleet. But there were specific key areas we could work on like the starts, my boat handling, technique and trying to go faster in all kinds of conditions.

“We were focusing on that and we were trying to pick up what I was missing out on in the European (Championships) like having better wrist management, when to take extra risks at time, when to be more conservative. I was able to consolidate all of that (this time around).”

With less than three months to the July 23-Aug 8 Olympics, Lo is confident that he is on the right track.

He will remain in Vilamoura till the end of May to train and compete in a few coaches regattas, which have a smaller fleet of about 30 to 50 boats.

Lo said: “For now, I’m taking a break just to clear the mind and get a bit of rest, before we start working on the areas that we’re trying to improve on. We’ll just keep pushing and improving as much we can.”

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