Sailing: Three Nations Book Their Tickets in Three Boat Classes After South American Olympic Qualifier

Three nations won quotas in the three boat classes with Olympic spots up for grabs at the 2019 South American Olympic Qualifier. Overall, the highest ranked eligible nation in the men’s laser, women’s laser radial and the men’s Finn qualified to the Olympics. The South American Olympic Qualifier was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from November 25th to November 30th 2019.

The men’s laser saw three races held on the first day where two of them were won by Chile’s Clement Seguel, allowing him to finish the day with four points. The second day contained two more races (worst performance dropped) where Seguel won one race and finished second in the other to continue to lead with five points. The third day was a repeat of the second day (one 1st and one 2nd place finish) as Seguel grew his lead over the field to eight points. By the penultimate day the lead was extended to 17 points. Seguel placed an exclamation point on this regatta by winning the medal race, gold medal and Olympic quota with a final score of 14 points. His compatriot Ignacio Moraga won the silver medal while Ecuador’s Matias Dyck won the bronze medal.

The women’s laser radial saw three races on the first day where three athletes were separated by a single point with Peru’s Paloma Schmidt leading the way thanks to winning two of the races. Brazil’s Gabriella Kidd took the overall lead on the second day thanks to winning both of the races where she finished with a total score of six with Schmidt two points behind. At this point the worst performance was dropped. Only a single race was held on the third day where Kidd won the race over Schmidt to extend the lead to three. The fourth day saw Schmidt outperform Kidd in the two races which caused the two boats to finish the day level on points. The medal race on the final day decided everything as the top two boats raced each other with Schmidt coming out on top to win the gold medal and Olympic quota with a score of 14 points, two more than Kidd. The bronze medal was won by Venezuela’s Daniela Rivera.

The men’s Finn was led by Venezuela’s Andres Lage after three races on the first day as he won two races and finished second in the third race to have a total of four points. Despite a relatively poor performance in the two races on the second day Lage held his lead over the field as he now had 13 points. However, another pair of poor performances by Lage on the third day caused him to drop to fourth place overall as Brazil’s Antonio Moreira took the overall lead with 13 points (worst performance was now dropped). However, a disqualification for Moreira in one of the races on the fourth day allowed guest Pablo Guitan of Spain to take the lead going into the medal race. Moreira would perform just enough to win the men’s Finn via tiebreaker over Guitan whom both had a score of 22 points. The bronze medal was won by Brazil’s Pedro Lodovici while the Olympic quota went to Venezuela’s Andres Lage.

This was the final opportunity for Central and South American nations to qualify in these events. The final boat classes to have their Central and South American qualifier will be the RS:X and 470 to be held in February 2020.

Qualified Nations

Men’s Laser
* Chile

Women’s Laser Radial
* Peru

Men’s Finn
* Venezuela

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