(ATR) The primary sailing qualification event for Tokyo 2020 is underway in Aarhus, Denmark. The competition will decide around 40 percent of the available spots for the next Olympics.
Day 1 from Aarhaus (World Sailing)
A total of 1,400 athletes from 85 countries will attempt to punch their ticket to Tokyo, meaning nearly 1,000 boats will be in the water over the 11-day event.
Along with the 10 Olympic boat classes at the event, kiteboarding will make its first appearance at the World Championships.
Preparation Clinic Levels the Playing Field
Sailors from 14 nations in need of financial and coaching support attended an Emerging Nations Program clinic prior to the World Championships.
From July 16 to 29, athletes trained on the water and in a classroom. The clinic was held in the Egå Marina, just a short distance away from the venue in Aarhaus.
Rob Holden, World Sailing’s training and development manager, said in a statement, “They were on the water every day and, on some days, some of the top teams training joined them giving them the experience of training against some top competitors. All the sailors that attended the clinic have been on previous ENP programs mostly through World Sailing Youth Program, showing continuity.”
Holden went on to say he and the local Danish coach will give additional coaching to the athletes during competition.
Upgraded Venue for 2018
Jonas Warrer (World Sailing)
The Hempel Sailing World Championships 2018 are the first in the new Aarhaus International Sailing Center. Danish sailor Jonas Warrer, an Olympic gold medalist in Beijing, commented on the new facilities.
“It’s amazing how big it is,” Jonas Warrer said in a statement. “The interest is far bigger than anything before, it’s more like the Olympics, except it’s happening where I grew up. Everyone is coming to Aarhus. I grew up just there, the other side of Riis Skov wood. To have your friends here watching is incredible.”
A large festival is being held in Aarhaus to coincide with the competition. Visitors will be able to participate in activites on the water. The Danish city is expecting 400,000 spectators for the event.
The World Championships run through August 12.
Written by Jeffrey Farek
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