Rio 2016 Preview: Sailing

Photo: Australian Paralympic Committee/WikimediaCommons

Sport: Sailing

Events: Three (All mixed)

Classification: All athletes are given disability points ranging from 1-7, with total crew point maximums varying according to the event

Venue:  Maria da Glora Copacabana

Athlete Quota: 80

International Federation: International Association for Disabled Sailing (IFDS)

Defending Champions:

One Person Keelboat – Helena Lucas (GBR)

Two Person Keelboat – Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch (AUS)

Three Person Keelboat – Netherlands

Preview

The two person sailing event seems to be Australia’s to lose, after winning gold in London the Australian pair took a break and came back to dominate winning two World Championships. But in the 2016 World Championships, Polish duo Monika Gibes and Piotr Chichocki stunned the Australians to take confidence in to Rio.

The one person event is set to be a four person race, with three Olympic Champions competing in the race. Damien Seguin of France is a four time World Champion at a gold medalist at Athens, but the defending World Champion is German Heiko Kroeger who win Sydney. The 2012 Paralympic Champion is Helena Lucas of Great Britain, but an outsider could be Australian Matthew Bugs.

The third time may well be the charm for Great Britain’s three person crew as they have been looking strong, winning fold in the 2015 world championships and silver in 2016. But they will face stiff opposition against two strong crews in Australia and the United States.

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