Sailing: Olympic Champion Burton Wins 2019 Laser World Championship

2016 Olympic champion Tom Burton of Australia was the most consistent sailor as he won gold at the 2019 Laser Standard World Championships. In terms of Olympic qualification, the five highest ranked eligible nations won a quota. The Laser Standard World Championship was held in Sakaiminato, Japan from July 2nd to July 9th 2019.

For the first six races the 156-fleet competition was split into three groups. The first day of competition saw two races where Croatia’s Filip Jurisic and New Zealand’s George Gautrey took the overall lead with 4 points each. The second day had two more races where the worst result was discarded, thanks to this Sweden’s Jesper Stalheim was able to move to a 7 point tie with Gautrey and France’s Jean- Baptiste Bernaz. Two victories on the third day allowed New Zealand’s Sam Meech to take the overall lead of 13 points, one more than 2018 World Championship silver medalist Matthew Wearn of Australia. Bernaz was third with 15 points. At this point the final fleets were created with the top 52 boats advancing to the gold fleet while other sailors moved to the silver and bronze fleets.

On the first day of the final fleet, two more races were held for a total of eight and it was here where Burton took the overall lead with 27 points, six more than Meech who himself held a seven point lead over 2018 World Championship bronze medalist Philipp Buhl of Germany. Two more races were held on the next day and thus boats were allowed to drop their two worst performances, though one score must be from the qualification round. This allowed Burton to extend his lead to 18 and it allowed Bernaz to move up to second place, two more than Wearn.

On the final day, two more races were held. Burton sailed a fourteenth place and knowing that he couldn’t be caught he finished with a discarded 51st place to win the title with 59 net points. His compatriot Wearn won the silver medal with 63 points while Gautrey won the bronze with 69 points. The Olympic quotas were won by Sweden, Argentina, Russia, Hungary and Guatemala.

As a reminder the 2019 Pan American Games holds a higher priority over the 2019 World Championships so should Argentina or Guatemala qualify there then the quota here will be reallocated to the next highest ranked eligible nation, Slovenia. The next opportunity for nations to qualify in men’s laser will be at their respective continental qualifiers.

Qualified Nations

Men’s Laser
* Argentina
* Guatemala
* Hungary
* Russia
* Sweden

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