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US Sailing athletes begin the fight for Tokyo 2020

by US Sailing 13 May 11:47 PDT 13-18 May 2019
Start of practice race - 2019 Finn Open European Championship © Robert Deaves

Finn sailors from around the globe begin racing tomorrow at the 2019 Open European Championship in Athens. In addition to the opportunity to train against the world's best and fight for the title, four berths to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are on the line. This year's European Championship will serve as a country qualifier for the 2020 Games.

Last summer, eight nations qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the Hempel Sailing World Championships in Aarhus. With the exception of Japan, which gets a place as the host country, a total of 21 nations will be competing at this event, trying to earn representation at the Games. Athletes hoping to earn representation this week will need to be among the top four sailors whose country is not already qualified to the 2020 Games.

U.S. athletes, Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif) and Luke Muller (Fort Pierce, Fla.) are among those hoping to earn selection for their country this week. If Paine or Muller is among the top four unselected countries, the United States will earn a berth to the 2020 Games.

Racing is being held out of the Athens International Sailing Centre. The series of races will consist of 10 races from Monday, May 13 to Friday, May 17 with the 11th race and medal race on Saturday, May 18.

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Preview: 49er, FX and Nacra 17 athletes line up in Weymouth for European Championships

Tomorrow, racing begins at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy for the 2019 Volvo 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European Championships. Racing will be taking place from May 13 to 19.

While a number of teams will be using this event as a port of athlete selection to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the U.S. athletes will not be battling for a spot on the Olympic team just yet. Still, the regatta will attract more than 400 of the world's best sailors, providing a crucial training opportunity for the U.S. athletes on the way to the Olympic Games.

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