Sailing: Singapore's Ryan Lo continues quest for Olympic qualification

Sailing: Singapore's Ryan Lo continues quest for Olympic qualification

Singaporean sailor Ryan Lo
Ryan Lo at the 2020 Laser Senior European Championships & Open European Trophy off the coast of Gdansk, Poland. (Photo: Singapore Sailing Federation/Thom Touw, EurILCA)

GDANSK, Poland: Singaporean sailor Ryan Lo finished 21st out of 126 competitors at the 2020 Laser Senior European Championships & Open European Trophy, which concluded on Tuesday (Oct 13).

The event, held off Poland's Baltic coast, was Lo's first since he returned to Europe in August to continue his preparations for the Tokyo Olympics, now rescheduled for 2021.

The winner in Lo's laser category was Great Britain's Elliot Hanson, who led a British sweep of the podium places after six days of racing.

Prior to competing in Poland, Lo had resumed training at his base in Croatia, alongside a number of Olympic medallists and world champions.

READ: Local athletes welcome Olympics postponement, but uncertainties still remain

In a media release, the Singapore Sailing Federation (SFF) said that Lo's travel was made possible by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and the Singapore Sports Institute under Sport Singapore as well as the Croatian government.

The 23-year-old had been training in Split, Croatia, since the conclusion of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games - where he won two gold medals - but was forced to return home earlier this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The escalation of the pandemic also disrupted the Asian Sailing Federation Asian Championships, a Tokyo 2020 qualifying event.

Originally scheduled to be held in Abu Dhabi from Mar 15 to Mar 22, the event has been postponed until further notice.

Speaking after the event, Lo provided an update on his progress.

"It is nice to be able to return to training and compete overseas again," he said. 

"This event also helped me gauge how my training the past few months in Singapore had fared against the other sailors around the world.”

Stanley Chan, deputy president of the SSF and chairman of the federation's Olympic Pathway Taskforce, lauded Lo's efforts in Poland.

“He adapted quickly to continue training independently in our local waters despite disruptions brought on by the pandemic and emerged after almost six months with his best-ever international result against a strong fleet," he said.

"I hope this serves as an inspiration to the other sailors and athletes in Singapore to forge on despite our current challenges.”

Lo will now return to Split to continue training and may head to Malta in the coming months for a training competition.

Source: CNA/kg(ac)