SINGAPORE: Windsurfer Audrey Yong will be part of the Team Singapore delegation to the 2016 Rio Olympics, making her Singapore's first-ever female windsurfer at the Games.
In a press release on Friday (Jun 24), the Singapore Sailing Federation (SSF) said that this came after World Sailing (WS) awarded Singapore was awarded an unused quota place in the RS:X Women's event. Yong was then nominated by the SSF to Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) for inclusion in the Singapore Sailing Team, which SNOC accepted.
"It feels surreal to have been given the chance to represent Singapore at the Olympics; I still can’t believe it!" said 21-year-old Yong, who was just named sailor of the year at the Singapore Sailing Federation Annual Awards last week.
“My family, friends and the Federation have been a great support in all my sporting endeavours. I am incredibly grateful to have their support in my decision to take this chance to represent Singapore," she added. "I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to represent our country."
Yong was a 2015 SEA Games Gold medallist and also took home a bronze at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games.
According to the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Qualification System, National Olympic Councils had to confirm the use of their allocated qualification places with WS by Jun 1, after which unallocated places are reallocated within the same even to the next best ranked NOC which had not qualified, based on the 2015 World Championships.
Yong's windsurfing teammate Nicole Lim's result at the 2015 World Championship placed Singapore high enough in ranking to be awarded the unused quota place. While Lim did not continue her campaign after the championships, her efforts have earned Singapore the spot, said SNOC. Yong was the only athlete who sought to be considered for selection in women's windsurfing.
She joins 21 other Team Singapore athletes who have earned quota spots through their respective spots, SNOC said in a separate press release. This includes fellow windsurfer Leonard Ong.
Singapore windsurfers Audrey Yong (left) and Leonard Ong (right) with their coach Sakda Sakulfaeng. (Photo: SSF)