Winners Decided at Asian Youth Games Sailing Trials
Darren Choy (15) of the Singapore Sports School and Najwa Jumali (14) of Raffles Girls School topped the rankings after the five-day nomination event to select the Byte CII sailors to represent Singapore at the 1st Asian Youth Games which concluded today at the National Sailing Centre.
A strong second place finish in the ninth and final race secured the top spot for Darren who fought hard throughout the regatta to fend off Terence Choo (14) of Raffles Institution, the recently crowned National Byte Youth Champion.
"The conditions today were really tricky and shifty. I finished last in the first race today, missing the wind shifts. It was really hard to keep my focus after that, but I managed to forget it all and focus my energy to give it all in the deciding race," said Darren who attributed his general consistency in helping him clinch top spot.
Najwa made the most of the competition, leading steadily in the girls’ category throughout the regatta. The Raffles Girls’ School student finished the trials with 39 points, a 13 point margin ahead of the runner up in the girls division, Koh Ling Ying (14) Najwa’s fellow school mate at Raffles Girls’ School.
"I am very happy and thankful to finish as the top girl in the selection trials. My strategy for the trials was to treat it as a normal training session and to stay cool, collected and consistent," said Najwa.
A fortnight ago, the nomination event for the AYG windsurfing event (Bic Techno 293) took place in Pattaya, Thailand. Windsurfers Chuah Jun Ler, 14 of Juying Secondary School and Jeddy Tan, 15 of Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) tied on points with Jun Ler edging a spot ahead on count back with a better scored last race. Audrey Yong, 14, of Mayflower Secondary School finished as the top Singapore performer in the girls category.
SingaporeSailing’s seven-man selection panel will now deliberate on the nomination events, the results and performances in these nomination events, and the other criteria as set out in SingaporeSailing’s selection policy before submitting the names of the nominated athletes to Singapore National Olympic Council by 30 April 2009.
Meanwhile, reacting to the Singapore Youth Sports Development committee’s announcement yesterday of a $15 million boost by MCYS, MOE and Singapore Totalisator Board to boost youth sports development initiatives, an elated Andrew Sanders, SingaporeSailing’s CEO, looks forward to beefing up the resources to give local sailors an edge at the Youth Olympic Games.
"SingaporeSailing is very encouraged by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS), the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Singapore Totalisator Board’s initiative to resource these two segments of sports development - the Youth Olympic Games and the grassroots.
"Through this initiative, SingaporeSailing looks forward to further promoting grassroots sailing, and also to the extra resources to help in training our 14-member Youth Olympic Games squad including being able to send them for more overseas competitions and training."