Home team wants gold at Tokyo 2020

Published on April 4th, 2018

The 2018 Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar regatta on April 2-7, which lifts the curtain on the European competition season for the Olympic classes, has attracted 870 boats and 1215 sailors from 62 different nations to Mallorca, Spain.

With the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Japan’s sailing team leader Aiko Saito is eager for a good showing in two years time. Here she offers an update:

How many Japanese athletes are at the Sofía Iberostar?
We have a total of 44 sailors and 28 boats because this regatta is a qualifying event for Japan’s Olympic team in some classes. We have brought younger athletes because otherwise they do not have too many opportunities to race because the Sailing World Cup events have very limited entries.

How is the preparation going for the Olympic Games in Tokyo?
The whole team is working hard to get our first gold in Sailing at the Olympics after having achieved silver in Atlanta 1996 and bronze in Athens 2004. I think we have medal possibilities in 470 Men, 470 Women, Laser Radial and RS:X Men.

Do you like the choice of Enoshima as a sailing venue?
In Tokyo itself it is very hot so Enoshima (67 km to the SW of Tokyo) is much better because of the sea breeze. Early on it is quite strong but as the day goes on it drops a bit maybe to 12 knots. It will also be good that this time the competitions will take place in the early summer.

How is the country living the Olympic movement?
I believe now we are now starting to live a great Olympic moment. After the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea, feelings have grown. There is no doubt that Japan is famous for sports such as judo, gymnastics, and swimming while sailing has never been a top sport but this time we can play an important role.

UPDATE: After three days of racing at the Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar regatta, Japanese sailors are strong in the 470s, with the men in 2nd and three teams in the top 11 while the women are in 3rd. In their other dominant classes, they are 7th in the RS:X Men and 14th in the Radial.

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Source: Event Media

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