Rain and breeze for final day at Youth Games
Published on August 24th, 2014
Nanjing, China (August 24, 2014) – After three frustrating days for the 101 sailors from 62 nations, the rain and wind is a welcome change from the heat and lack of breeze as sailing concluded at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in China. At 10:00 local time, a breeze in the region of 5 knots was present on the race course and picked up slightly as the day progressed.
Bernie Chin and Samantha Yom made it double gold for Singapore as they took the Boy’s and Girl’s Byte CII Youth Olympic Games titles in Nanjing, China.
Chin held on to his overnight lead whilst Yom advanced from second to first in a gripping final day of the Youth Olympic sailing competition.
The Byte CII fleets raced in a steady 4-5 knot breeze that was coming from an easterly direction and the tension was high in both races.
Rodolfo Pires (POR) and Jonatan Vadnai (HUN) took silver and bronze in the Boy’s Byte CII whilst the female silver went to Odile van Aanholt (NED) and bronze to Jarian Brandes (PER).
Argentina’s Francisco Saubidet Birkner and China’s Linli Wu claimed the Boy’s and Girl’s Techno 293 honors. A single undiscardable race brought the Techno 293 racing to a close with the conditions testing the 20 boy’s and 21 girl’s racers who took to the course. Three knots gusting up to eight knots from an easterly direction made life tough on the race course with those with excellent tactical skills and light wind prowess excelling.
Girl’s Byte CII
Samantha Yom (SIN) trailed Odile van Aanholt (NED) by four points going into the final race and knew what job had to be done.
The Singaporean fought hard to put boats in between herself and her Dutch competitor. The race was up and down with positions changing throughout. In the end Yom came through in second, behind race winner Dolores Moreira (URU) whilst van Aanholt finished seventh.
Yom ends the regatta on 27 points with Van Aanholt a point behind. Jarian Brandes (PER) held onto the bronze with a fifth place finish in the deciding race.
After racing Yom said, “It was really intense but I just focused on my race and focused on what I could control and I let the rest fall into place. I knew if I did my best the results would fall into place.
“It’s a once in a lifetime experience and to be able to make Singapore proud is really unique.”
On the second day of racing Yom recorded a 21st place finish, which she discarded, and after the day she said, “bye bye medal chances but I’ll keep fighting.” She fought back hard, taking a 2-2-11-2 scoreline to complete the event. Her reply when asked about the ‘bye bye medal chances’ quote, “Hello medals,” she smiled. “I was a bit down after a really bad race. I told myself that, ‘yea that’s a really bad race but keep fighting and can only get better’.”
Singapore Sailing has produced several young talented sailors and Yom is proud of the support she has received, “It’s really great to know that Singapore has won two gold’s. I think that Singapore Sailing Federation has given us good support and all of our good results have given us affirmation that we are on the right track and going good.”
Boy’s Byte CII
Ten minutes after Singapore’s Samantha Yom claimed the first Youth Olympic Sailing gold, Bernie Chin added a second for his nation.
Chin took a four point lead into the final race and stayed out of trouble as he finished fifth to seal the deal.
Before hundreds of volunteers flocked to Chin for a picture, he said, “I am very happy because this is my first gold medal that I’ve won for the country. We are able to bring back two medals this time because at the last YOG we didn’t medal but this time we are able to bring both gold’s back to Singapore.”
There were many possibilities in the Boy’s Byte CII fleet with all the medals up for grabs and any big mistake could have been costly, “There was some stress,” said Chin, “but I knew everybody would be stressed just as much as me because every ones points were so close below so the Brazilian and Portuguese guys were just as stressed out as me and maybe even more.”
Brazil’s Pedro Correa came into the day in silver medal position with Portugal’s Rodolfo Pires occupying the final podium spot. Anything was possible on the race track with those from second to ninth in with a medal shout.
Pires took a seventh and advanced up to silver medal position, dislodging Correa whose 14th place finish saw him drop to sixth. The Portuguese sailor was all smiles after racing, “It was a very stressful regatta. I was very stressed and there was a lot to lose and a lot to win. My coach was doing the calculations and he confirmed to me that the silver was mine and then I was happy.”
Ahead of the medal ceremony Pires didn’t quite know what to expect, “It will be my first time experiencing this and I don’t know what will be going through my head.”
Jonatan Vadnai (HUN) started the day in seventh and a fourth place in the final race pushed him up into bronze and he was relieved after racing, “I am really happy. I made a bad race in the first race but I just wanted to catch as many boats as I could and finally it ended up good. I was scared, really scared. I just tried to do as good as possible. If I finished in the top five then it wasn’t up to me but I did it, so I am happy.”
After a long week his celebratory plan is to, “Sleep. I think I am going to wake up at 12, eat as much as I want and gain some weight as I am going to Santander now.”
Boy’s Techno 293
Argentina’s Francisco Saubidet Birkner overthrew Russia’s Maxim Tokarev to take Boy’s Techno 293 gold in a winner take all final duel.
The points were extremely tight between the top seven of the pack with plenty of equations possible. In the end it turned out to be a tussle at the top between Saubidet Birkner and Tokarev.
Saubidet Birkner and Tokarev jostled for position throughout the final race with the places going to and fro. The Argentine read the conditions perfectly to overtake Tokarev and finish second in the final race, one place ahead of the Russian to take the title.
“I’m very happy because the wind was very difficult today,” said the Argentina. “I raced very good, I was always on the right side and I finished second and first overall, so it’s perfect.
“We’ve trained all of the year for this event so we are very happy that that I finished first.”
From six races, Tokarev took a one point lead over the Argentine going into the final day. Saubidet Birkner was aware of the threat that Tokarev posed, as he explained, “He’s very good in this wind and in this wind I think he’s the best. I started very good and very near to him and I raced always next to him because I was second and one point behind him. In the last lap I was on the right side so I finished second and he finished third.”
Tokarev was visibly disappointed upon completion of the final race but was happy ashore, “I was behind my opponent at the second upwind but the wind dropped and my opponent went ahead of me so maybe he was more powerful or maybe it was luck.
“I’m happy that I have silver and the girl from my team also picked up silver so Russia is the most powerful team in the Techno now.”
The Netherlands Lars van Someren (NED) came into the day with a chance of gold and a threat of dropping completely out of the medals. He came through in fourth position to seal bronze and after racing he said, “I’m super happy. Before I came here I expected a top five but a medal is amazing. I love being on the podium.”
Van Someren headed straight to the spectator stand after racing where he greeted his family, “Well my dad has been over excited all the week. He’s supported me all the way and my mother as well with all the time they’ve invested with the training, the driving, buying equipment and without them I couldn’t have done it so that’s why I wanted to thank them first.”
Girl’s Techno 293
Linli Wu took gold for China in the Girl’s Techno 293 with a final race bullet stylishly sealing the deal on her home waters.
Wu dominated the pack throughout the week and took a seven point advantage into the final day. Despite being middle of the pack at the first mark she worked her way up the fleet to seal an emphatic victory with the chasing racers a considerable distance behind.
After racing Wu said, “I had good starts and used the wind shifts and got to know the wind well before. I could see from the beginning it would be pumping tactics and I am quite good at that.
“To prepare for this event I lost some weight and went from 65kg to 55kg for the light conditions because I knew it would be light conditions.
“I am very happy and very proud.”
Before racing commenced the Chinese sailor was somewhat of an unknown quantity but the fleet got to know her quickly as she took four of seven race victories.
Mariam Sekhposyan picked up silver and was content with her performance, “I’m happy that everything is over but I’m upset that it’s just silver because I didn’t know the Chinese girl and when I saw her in the first races I was like, ‘what, who is this?’ but she is very good.”
France’s Lucie Pianazza wrapped up bronze, finishing the final race in fourth, “It was difficult because the wind moved a lot but I finished third or fourth because I arrived as the same time as the Thailand sailor. It’s great because I am third and it’s beautiful.
“I would like to have an Olympic medal but I have bronze here and I am really happy. I will move to the RS:X and I would like to go to the Worlds and be in the top and one of the best athletes. I want to sail at the ISAF Youth Worlds.”
About The Youth Olympic Games
The Youth Olympic Games brings 28 sports together in a unique multi-sport event for young athletes aged 15-16, with sailing on Nanjing’s Jinniu Lake from August 18 to 23. This is the second edition of the Games, with the inaugural 2010 Youth Olympic Games held in Singapore.
Report by ISAF media.