'Andrew Lewis will compete at London 2012 as a result of his involvement in the Emerging Nations Programme at the 2011 ISAF World Sailing Championships in Perth - London 2012 Olympic Games'
Perth 2011 ©
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The Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships were held in Western Australia in December. Today, Monday 11th June 2012, the event organisers welcomed the announcement that five sailors who participated in the Championships’ Emerging Nations Programme have each qualified to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The four countries of Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, Chinese Taipei and Guatemala, all of whom did not compete in sailing at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, will now be represented in London alongside the world’s best sailors at the very pinnacle of the sport.
Following the success of the Emerging Nations Programme, London 2012 now looks set to host one of the most international fields ever assembled for sailing at an Olympic Games.
The Emerging Nations Programme was a world first sailing initiative hatched in July 2007 and was integral to Perth’s winning bid to host the ISAF Sailing World Championships which took place in December 2011. The initiative was geared to develop the sport of sailing internationally by giving direct support to nations who are keen to nurture sailing talent but lack the necessary funding, world class coaching and equipment to do so.
An initial group of 32 athletes from 23 nations was selected to follow the Emerging Nations Programme’s rigorous two year training plan. A series of official Camps where qualified Olympic coaches mixed on-the-water training with fitness work and lectures on sports psychology, nutrition, weather and tactics, culminated in the best 12 sailors being selected to compete in the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.
After impressive performances in Perth across three classes – Laser, Laser radial and RS:X wind surfers, five of the group will now test their abilities and represent their countries at the Olympics in just over seven weeks time.
Speaking today in Perth, the Hon. Ian Campbell, Chairman of Perth 2011, said: 'This is fantastic news and follows the extremely positive economic impact figures that were released by the Western Australian government as a result of hosting the World Championships.
'Australia is world renowned for its ability to produce sporting champions and I would like to thank the Australian and Western Australian governments for putting their significant support behind what has proved to be a remarkable sporting programme - a world first for the sport of sailing. We hope that these results will inspire other countries and sports to develop similar initiatives.'
Following the success of the Emerging Nations Programme, Santander, the hosts of the 2014 ISAF World Sailing Championships, have decided to continue the scheme.
Perth 2011 website
by Leigh Ireland
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9:53 AM Mon 11 Jun 2012GMT
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