Laser Radial World Champion Lijia Xu (CHN) charging downwind.
 

Laser Radial World Champion Lijia Xu (CHN) charging downwind.

Emerging nations

With sailing rapidly gaining in popularity in this region, we take a look at the competition at the Asian Games

Friday December 1st 2006, Author: Toby Heppell, Location: United Kingdom
The Asian Games are due to begin next week - 5 December - in Doha, Qatar. This event is very significant in the Asian sporting world being roughly the equivalent of the Commonwealth Games in the UK.

The sailing competition at the 15th Asian Games will take place from Doha Sailing Club where extensive renovations and improvements have been made to bring the facilities up to top international standards. Doha Bay and the Corniche will provide the backdrop for the 13 sailing events. The club, located at the south end of Doha Bay, is affiliated with the ISAF and stages regular racing between September and June.

Sailing has been a part of the Asian Games since the sixth time the event was held in 1990 in Bangkok, Thailand. The format is very similar to that of the Olympic Games and it is clear the Asian countries see this as a kind of home Olympics. However there are significant differences to the 'main' event. For example there are classes included strictly for youth sailors, such as the Optimist, where competitors must be born after 1990 (ie an age limit of 16.) The classes for adults are also different and focus on smaller, less powerful boats.

The boats included in the Asian Games are:

Men - Women
2 Persons: International 420 - 2 Persons: International 420
2 Persons: International 470 - 2 Persons: International 470
1 Person: Mistral Light - 1 Person: Mistral
1 Person: Mistral Heavy - N/A
1 Person: International Optimist - 1 Person: International Optimist
1 Person: International Laser Standard - N/A

Open: 1 Person: Laser 4.7
Open: 1 Person: International Laser Radial
Open: 2 Persons: Multihull (Hobie 16)
Open: Match Racing in Beneteau First
Class 7.5: 4 or 5 Persons with
Maximum total weight of 350kg

What is particularly interesting about these classes is the selection of some of the open classes in the event. For example it will be fascinating to see if men and women are able to compete on equal terms in a Laser 4.7 or a Laser Radial. The prospect of more women racing men or vice versa is one that raised recently at the ISAF Annual Conference. It is possible events like the Asian Games could help us to see how feasible this competition could be, particularly as everyone tries to second guess ISAF's choice of which class they will drop from the Olympic stage for 2012.

Although the entry list does not contain a wealth of well known sailing names to the western world there are a handful of sailors who stand out and with the growth in interest in sailing occurring at an exponential rate throughout Asia and particularly with the 2008 Olympiad taking place in China we can expect many more sailors from here to set foot on the international stage from this area.

At the Asian Games, Laser Radial World Champion Lijia Xu (CHN) looks set to be the star of the show following a highly successful year on the international circuit. Xu, who modestly still names her hero as world number three ranked Radial sailor Paige Railey, will be looking to add an Asian Games medal to her list of victories that include back to back Optimist World Championship wins on 2002 and 2003. It will be interesting to watch Xu battle it out against some of the less well know male names in the Radial fleet to see who comes out on top.

A pair of sailors who have shown potential this year are Koreans Daeyoung Kim and Sungahn Jung, who go into the event as Asian Sailing Champions after winning the Asian Sailing Championships (not to be confused with the medal for sailing at the Asian Games being battled for next week.) Although not always at the top of the medal table in international competition, this pair had a fantastic Test Event in Qingdao, finishing a close second overall. With conditions likely to be light throughout the event - the prediction is for no more than seven knots - they will be a hard team to beat in the men’s 470 division.

There are very few genuine favorites to win any of the classes but this is part of what makes sailing in the Asian Games so exciting. With the sport slowly become more common throughout the Asian countries it is less a case of looking at who is going to win a medal at this regatta and more a case of seeing who might be winning medals on the international stage in the future. With the inclusion of some youth classes we may even be seeing names for the first time here that we will go on to hear over and over again in future events.

Sailing for all classes is due to start on tuesday 5 December and continues untill wednesday 13 December.

Entry List:

Name Nationality Gender
AHMED ABDULLA Omar  BRN Male
AL DOSARI Mohanna  BRN Male
ALMAHMEED Abdulaziz  BRN Male
JANAHI Abdulla Mohd  BRN Male
JANAHI Mustafa  BRN Male
KOOHEJI Sami  BRN Male
SADEQ Ebrahim Abdulla  BRN Male
SADIQ Abdulrahim Abdulla  BRN Male
SHOWAITER Sameer  BRN Male
CHEN Lina  CHN Female
WEN Yimei  CHN Female
XU Lijia  CHN Female
YU Chunyan  CHN Female
ZHANG Lihua  CHN Female
DENG Daokun  CHN Male
NI Wei  CHN Male
SHEN Sheng  CHN Male
WANG Weidong  CHN Male
YANG Shuai  CHN Male
YAO Xinhao  CHN Male
ZENG Xiaohong  CHN Male
ZHOU Bolin  CHN Male
CHAN Wai Kei  HKG Female
LO Kin Yee  HKG Female
CHAN King Yin  HKG Male
HO Chi Ho  HKG Male
SAKAI Isamu Kendal  HKG Male
TONG Yui Shing  HKG Male
TSE Bryan Pak Yun  HKG Male
SUBAGIASA I Gede  INA Male
SULAKSANA I Gusti Made Oka  INA Male
ARVIND Amit  IND Male
BAMBOAT Xerxes Sheri  IND Male
CHAUHAN Sanjeev  IND Male
CHOUDHARY Rajesh  IND Male
DHAS Hemraj  IND Male
KAPILA Vikas  IND Male
MONGIA Nitin  IND Male
PATEL Kamlesh  IND Male
RAMCHANDRAN Mahesh  IND Male
TARAPORE Farokh  IND Male
YADAV Girdhari  IND Male
KAMATA Naoko  JPN Female
KOMIYA Haruka  JPN Female
KONDO Ai  JPN Female
ONISHI Fujiko  JPN Female
TAKAHASHI Yumi  JPN Female
TSUGAYA Kae  JPN Female
FURUYA Shingen  JPN Male
IIJIMA Yoichi  JPN Male
IITSUKA Shibuki  JPN Male
ISOZAKI Tetsuya  JPN Male
NAKAMURA Kenichi  JPN Male
YAMADA Kan  JPN Male
DALAKOV Magomet  KAZ Male
DARIGUL Galymzhan  KAZ Male
JANGAZOV Ruslan  KAZ Male
SESSOROV Alexey  KAZ Male
LEE Gyeongjin  KOR Female
SHIN Jihyun  KOR Female
BANG Kyungjae  KOR Male
JUNG Sungahn  KOR Male
KIM Daeyoung  KOR Male
KIM Hokon  KOR Male
KIM Hyeongtae  KOR Male
KIM Jangnam  KOR Male
KIM Jongseung  KOR Male
KIM Joonsik  KOR Male
KIM Sangkyu  KOR Male
KIM Sangsuk  KOR Male
KIM Taejung  KOR Male
MOON Chang Sung  KOR Male
PARK Kyutae  KOR Male
PARK Minhyeo  KOR Male
SUNG Changil  KOR Male
YOON Cheul  KOR Male
ABDULSALAM Sami  KUW Male
ALFAHAD Salem  KUW Male
ALHADAH Nayef  KUW Male
ALHAMDAN Mohammad  KUW Male
ALKANDARI Abdulaziz  KUW Male
ALQABANDI Khalid  KUW Male
ANUAR Nurul Elia  MAS Female
TAN Rufina Hong Mui  MAS Female
DERMAWAN Hazwan Hazim  MAS Male
LIM Chern Wei  MAS Male
LIM Kevin Leong Keat  MAS Male
MUHAMAD Mohd Romzi  MAS Male
YAHAYA Faizani  MAS Male
AUNG Zin April  MYA Female
SAN Nwe Nwe  MYA Female
SU Chit  MYA Female
WAI Su Sandar  MYA Female
HEIN Sai Pyae Sone  MYA Male
KYAW Nay La  MYA Male
MIN Min  MYA Male
THU Aung Myin  MYA Male
AL HABSI Safyia  OMA Female
AL-RIYAMI Fasial Ahmed  OMA Male
ALYAHYAEI Rashid  OMA Male
MASOOD Ujala  PAK Female
MIR MASOOD Ghazal  PAK Female
SAHR Maria  PAK Female
ABDUL Hameed  PAK Male
BABUR Sabahat Ullah  PAK Male
BAYRAM AVARI Xerxes  PAK Male
IQBAL Ashfaq  PAK Male
MUHAMMAD Abdur Rehman  PAK Male
NAWAZ Aamir  PAK Male
RAFIQ Mahboob  PAK Male
SADIQ Mamoon  PAK Male
YOUSAF Muhammad  PAK Male
ZAHID Rauf  PAK Male
BALLADARES Ridgely  PHI Male
CHAVEZ Rommel  PHI Male
MORENO Reneric  PHI Male
PAZ German  PHI Male
SHOUHDY Alaa  QAT Female
AHMED Amro  QAT Male
AL BAKER Hassan  QAT Male
AL HAMMADI Khalid  QAT Male
AL SAFRAN Ali  QAT Male
AL SHARASHANI Hussain  QAT Male
AL SHARSHANI Waleed  QAT Male
AL TAMIMI Abdulla  QAT Male
AL TAMIMI Ali  QAT Male
AL TAMIMI Hassan  QAT Male
AL ZAINI Mohammed  QAT Male
AL-BRIKI Saleh  QAT Male
BU SHAWARIB Ebrahim  QAT Male
SHOUHDY Amro  QAT Male
KHNG Griselda  SIN Female
LIM Tze Ting  SIN Female
TAN Li Yong Elisabeth  SIN Female
TAN Sarah Wei Lin  SIN Female
TOH Liying  SIN Female
CHENG Feng Yuan  SIN Male
CHENG Xinru  SIN Male
CHUNG Pei Quan  SIN Male
HUANG Jingjie  SIN Male
KOH Seng Leong  SIN Male
KOH Terence  SIN Male
LEE Sean Teik Ren  SIN Male
LIU Xiaman  SIN Male
SOH Khyan Tat Maximilian  SIN Male
TAN Ivan Hsiao Loong  SIN Male
TAY Junhao  SIN Male
TAY Renfred  SIN Male
TEO Wee Chin  SIN Male
WONG Ming Ho Justin  SIN Male
XU Yuan Zhen  SIN Male
JIRASINGHA Radeeka  SRI Female
DE ALWIS GOONAWARDENA Devin  SRI Male
DE SILVA Upulpriyantha  SRI Male
GUNAWARDENE Priyantha  SRI Male
JIRASINHA Akshan  SRI Male
WELANDAGODA PATHIRANAGE Janaka SRI Male
POONPAT Benjamas  THA Female
TANSAI Napalai  THA Female
DAOCHANTERK Anun  THA Male
HOMRARUEN Arun  THA Male
KORKERD Thanakan  THA Male
PHUYIM Kittisak  THA Male
POONPAT Wiwat  THA Male
RUAMSAP Phanuthat  THA Male
THAIKING Chaiwat  THA Male
THAMSOONTORN Navee  THA Male
VONGTIM Damrongsak  THA Male
VONGTIM Sakda  THA Male
WON Kai Han  TPE Female

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