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Tokyo2020: New Zealand qualifies in seventh event

by Michael Brown/Yachting NZ 28 Jul 2019 16:38 PDT 29 July 2019
Olivia Christie (NZL) - 2019 Laser Radial World Championships, Japan, July 2019 © Junichi Hirai / Bulkhead Magazine Japan

Olivia Christie finished 47th at the Laser Radial world championships in Japan, qualifying the boat for New Zealand for next year's Tokyo Olympics in the process.

It means New Zealand has now qualified in seven of the 10 Olympic classes, after spots in the 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17, men's 470 and Laser were all confirmed at last year's sailing world championships in Aarhus.

The final New Zealand squad to compete at the Olympics will be confirmed by the selectors early next year.

There will be 44 boats in the Laser Radial in Tokyo next year - only one boat per country is permitted - and 10 qualification places were up for grabs at the Laser Radial world championships in Sakaiminato, Japan.

Denmark's Anne-Marie Rindom won the event by 36 points over Marit Bouwmeester of the Netherlands, with Alison Young of Great Britain a further three points behind in third.

Christie achieved two top-15 results in gold fleet, including an 11th in the penultimate race.

"It was probably one of the toughest events I've sailed in, with challenging conditions and an intense fleet," Christie said on her Facebook page. "However, I was delighted and very excited to qualify Aotearoa for a spot in the Laser Radial at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

"Now comes the hard(er) part, which is convincing the Olympic selectors/YNZ that I am good enough to be selected.

"Thanks, as always, to my coach Rosie Chapman and teammate Annabelle Rennie-Younger, as well as many others who have been with me through all the ups and downs this year... hopefully we'll have many more ups to come."

Rennie Younger was fourth in silver fleet and 60th overall and rounded out her regatta with a fourth in the final race.

[S-W NZ: The standard that has to be reached for NZ selection and representation at an Olympic Regatta is generally that the sailor/crew must be "Medal capable" in the 2016 Olympics this was interpreted as finishing in the top 10 places (not countries) at a major regatta or Olympic standard, usually a World Championship or European championship, with a backup performance at a lesser level in one of those regattas or a Sailing World Cup regatta, or other major event, depending on the strength of the competition. In the lead-up to the 2016 Olympics, even though she finished 11th overall in the 2016 Laser Radial World Championships and 10th country, having qualified NZ in the 2014 World Championships, Yachting New Zealand declined to select Sara Winther for the 2016 Olympic Regatta. She went on to coach the Irish competitor Analise Murphy who placed 39th in the 2016 Worlds in Mexico - and missed the cit for the Gold fleet. Murphy who had placed 4th in the 2012 Olympics in Weymouth went on to win the Silver medal in Laser Radial event in Rio.]

Results and standings from the Laser Radial World Championships in Sakaiminato, Japan:

Gold fleet (56 boats)

1st: Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) 1 (57 BFD) (28) 1 4 12 4 2 5 6 15 - 50 points 2nd: Marit Bouwmeester 5 (15) 4 5 8 23 10 12 9 (57 BFD) 10 - 86 pts 3rd: Alison Young (30) 8 9 4 12 25 6 8 6 (37) 11 - 89 pts

47th: Olivia Christie (NZL) 24 24 14 23 (35) 46 37 18 37 11 (52) - 234 pts

Silver fleet

60th: Annabelle Rennie-Younger (NZL) 21 (39) (57 BFD) 33 38 8 6 14 8 8 4 - 140 pts

Full results 2019worlds.laserjapan.org/radial/results/women

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