The sailing events concluded today at the 2018 Asian Games, which included Olympic and non-Olympic boat classes. In terms of Olympic qualification, only the men’s laser and women’s laser radial offered an opportunity for nations to qualify with the highest ranked eligible boat qualifying their nation to the Olympics. The sailing events at the 2018 Asian Games were held from August 24th to August 31st 2018.
The men’s laser saw a close three-way match between the defending champion, Ha Jee-min of South Korea, Malaysia’s Khairulnizam Mohd Afendy and Singapore’s Ryan Lo. The three sailors finished in the top three in almost all of the races with only a handful of fourth places being their only blemish. Going into the final race, the medal race was not held Ha had a 1.2 and 4.2 point lead over Afendy and Lo respectively. A sixth and ninth place finish from Ha and Afendy meant that score was thrown out and a previous fourth place finish was added to their score. Meanwhile, Lo won the final race. That meant Ha won the gold medal with 21.8 net points while Afendy and Lo were tied with 23 net points. Afendy would go on to win the silver medal and Olympic quota due to having more first place finishes.
Conversely the women’s laser radial was dominated by one athlete; 2017 World Championship bronze medalist Manami Doi of Japan. She was able to upgrade her 2014 Asian Games silver to gold by winning 9/12 races, finishing with a total of 13 net points. The silver medal went to the defending Asian Games champion Zhang Dongshuang of China whom finished with a total of 25 net points. The fight for the bronze medal and the Olympic quota came down to two boats; Thailand’s Kamolwan Chanyim and Malaysia’s Nur Shazrin Mohamad Latif. The two traded spots along with India’s Nethra Kumanan whom was also in the running until poor performances on the fourth and fifth day of sailing pushed her down into a solid fifth place. Going into the final race, the medal race was not held Chanyim and Latif were tied on points. A second place finish for Latif was enough to win her the bronze medal and the Olympic quota for her nation with a total of 36 net points.
Overall Japan topped the medal table in sailing, winning four out of the ten events, all of which will be featured at the Olympics. China won three events while Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea all won a single event. The next opportunity for Asian athletes to qualify to the Olympics in these events will be at the 2019 World Championships.
Women’s Laser Radial