Sailing: Eight Nations Qualify After 470 World Championships

Australia and Austria defended their titles at the 2015 470 World Championships. The top six men and top three women boats not yet qualified will be given quotas to compete. The 470 World Championships were held in Haifa, Israel from October 12th to October 17th 2015.

The men’s 470 event was split into two groups; blue and yellow for the first five races. In total 16 nations were eligible to qualify to the Olympics. Australia’s Mathew Beicher and Will Ryan dominated the first five races by winning three and coming in second in one. After five races the top 30 boats were placed into the gold fleet while the other boats were placed in the lower tier silver fleet. In terms of Olympic qualification this narrowed the field to eight nations.

Australia’s lead was challenged by Croatia’s Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic as they had top placements and even took the lead part way through. Going into the final race Australia held a narrow lead of 1. Australia clinched the gold medal by placing fourth in the match race while Croatia’s sixth place finish gave them silver. Bronze went to Russia’s Pavel Sozykin and Denis Gribanov. Fifth place Finland and ninth place Germany were the two highest ranked nations to qualify to the Olympics. The other qualifiers were Argentina, Turkey, South Africa and Israel which meant China and South Korea were the ones left out, though for China they previously qualified as Asian champions (2015 World Championships have higher priority than continental qualifiers).

For the women’s 470 all boats were placed in one group while 13 nations were eligible to qualify to the Olympics. Poland’s Agnieszka Skrzypulec and Irmina Mrozek Gliszczynska took the early lead, but a few bad races pushed them out of title contention as Austria’s Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar and Great Britain’s Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark fought for the lead at the midway point. After the 8th race Great Britain had a narrow lead, but two bad races eliminated Great Britain from the gold medal as Austria won the event before the medal race begun.

Going into the medal race only four eligible nations remained for Olympic qualification. Poland and Germany were guaranteed a spot meaning Australia and Spain were left fighting for the final spot. Spain however needed to finish six spots higher than Australia to qualify. Australia prevented that from happening by finishing in sixth to book the final spot. With Austria winning gold the silver went to Great Britain while the bronze went to France’s Camille Lecointre and Helene Defrance.

This was the final opportunity for Asian nations to qualify in this event, but the other continents will have a chance to qualify via their continental qualifiers. With South Africa qualifying in the men and Australia qualifying in the women it opens things up in those continents for less experienced nations to attempt to qualify.

Quotas by Nation

  • Germany – 2
  • Argentina – 1
  • Australia – 1
  • Finland – 1
  • Israel – 1
  • Poland – 1
  • South Africa – 1
  • Turkey – 1

References

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