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Hong Kong Sailing Athletes Meet the Media Session

by Sailing Federation of Hong Kong, China 24 May 06:12 PDT 24 May 2024
Hong Kong Sailing Athletes set for Paris 2024 © Panda / Takumi Images

The Paris 2024 Olympic Games will start from July 26. the Hong Kong Sports Institute and the Sailing Federation of Hong Kong, China co-held the "Meet the Media Session - Hong Kong Sailing Athletes" at the Foyer, Sports Complex, Hong Kong Sports Institute today.

The three athletes representing HKG in the sailing events of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 are Nicholas Halliday, who will be competing in the single-handed dinghy (ILCA7) class; Akira Sakai and Russell Aylsworth, who will take part in the Skiff (49er) class.

VIP guests have been invited to the media session, including Ms. Meihan Cheung, President of the Sailing Federation of Hong Kong, China; Mr. Tony Choi, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Sports Institute; Harris Tsolis and Rory Godman, the Head Sailing Coach and the Sailing Coach of the Hong Kong Sports Institute respectively. In her welcome speech, President Meihan introduced the 3 athletes. On behalf of the Sailing Federation of Hong Kong, China, she congratulated the 3 sailors and their coaches for their outstanding performance. Their Olympic qualifications in the 2 dinghy events have demonstrated the competitiveness of local sailors at the international level.

Harris Tsolis, Head Sailing Coach of the sailing team, expressed his gratitude to the Hong Kong Sports Institute, the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China, as well as the Sailing Federation of Hong Kong, China, for their steadfast support of athletes. Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics was a milestone that Hong Kong obtained an Olympic qualification in sailing via the competitive route for the very first time. Our sailors have once again proven their competitiveness by having 3 sailors qualified to compete in 2 classes for Paris 2024. He hoped that more Hong Kong sailing athletes would be qualified for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

Rory Godman, Sailing Coach of the double-handed team, stated that he had witnessed the growth and success of Akira Sakai and Russell Aylsworth, through their insistence in pursuing overseas training and competition during the Covid pandemic. Their journey has been filled with challenges and triumphs, clinching bronze medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games last year and now, their qualification for the Olympics. Godman expressed that he was honored to have been a part of their incredible growth and success.

Nicholas Halliday missed the last Olympics, but he came back stronger and won the Asian Sailing Championships & Asian Continental Paris 2024 Olympic Qualifier held in Pattaya, Thailand last year, and successfully sealed his place at the Paris Olympics. He is working hard in the gym and he aspires to deliver his best performance at the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

Akira Sakai and Russell Aylsworth missed out on qualifying for the last Olympics by just one point. This year, the sailing duo finished seventh in the 55th French Olympic Week Last Chance Regatta and successfully obtained a ticket to the Paris Olympics. They are extremely excited. Next, they will spend time training in France to familiarize themselves with local climate and conditions, they aim to give it all to strive for good results. Sailing Team of Hong Kong, China will depart for Marseille, France next Monday, May 27. This will give our sailors opportunities to acclimatize to the conditions; hopefully the team will return home with proud performance.

The Sailing Federation of Hong Kong, China, would like to thank the Hong Kong Sports Institute for its support towards the Hong Kong sailing athletes.

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