Sri Lanka signs up

34 athletes from 23 countries now part of Perth 2011’s Emerging Nations Programme

Friday April 30th 2010, Author: Samantha Scott, Location: Australia

Two international Sri Lankan sailors are being ‘added to the mix’ of 34 athletes from 23 countries, who have now been invited to Western Australia (WA) to participate in Perth 2011’s medal-producing Emerging Nations Programme (ENP).

Laser sailor Akshan Jirasinhan and Laser Radial sailor Nadine de Rosayro, both from Sri Lanka, will be joined during the fourth ENP intensive training session by returning RS:X sailors Qasim Abbas (Pakistan), Howard Chang (Chinese Tapei) and Nicolas Lozano (Columbia). Chang and Lozano are proving that the ENP produces results, as Perth 2011 Event Director John Longley explains.

“Howard Chang is a real character. He gives it his all and to see him come first at the Australian RS:X Championships in Fremantle recently, after completing two (three-week) ENP intensive training programmes, was an absolute delight,” he said. “Nicolas Lozano is another success story. He has gone from being a ‘street kid’ in Columbia to a potential sailing champion. He is a very determined young man. Nicolas showed them ‘what he’s made of’ when he won a Gold Medal at Sail Melbourne in December (the first leg of the 2009-10 ISAF Sailing World Cup). He credited his success to the ENP."

Laser sailors who are new to the initiative and hail from Serbia, the Phillipines and Bermuda, will also participate during the 3-20 May, 2010 ENP.

The intensive training programme will see the 11 athletes completing high intensity physical, theoretical and technical training and racing analysis on and off the water, under the guidance of ENP Head Coaches Belinda Stowell and Arthur Brett. Stowell and Brett hold an Olympic Gold Medal and a former World Number One ranking between them and also currently fill the roles of WAIS Head Coach – Sailing and Principal Coach at Fremantle Sailing Club, respectively.

The aim of the ENP is to identify talent and provide those athletes with the skills and knowledge to assist them to overcome limitations in their home countries. Potentially these athletes could qualify for Perth 2011 and in turn secure a place for their nation at the 2012 London Olympic Games Sailing Regatta.

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