Belfast Telegraph

Glynn plotting a course to Tokyo Olympics

 

Smooth sailing: Team-mates Finn Lynch (left) and Liam Glynn share a laugh ahead of the Laser World Championships in Japan
Smooth sailing: Team-mates Finn Lynch (left) and Liam Glynn share a laugh ahead of the Laser World Championships in Japan
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Bangor's Liam Glynn is among a three-boat squad that will be competing at the Laser World Championships in Sakaiminato, Japan this week, and his head coach is confident that he can continue to improve.

The Co Down sailor will compete alongside team-mates Finn Lynch, from Carlow, and Ewan McMahon of Howth as they seek to produce some strong performances in the bid to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and secure a return to Japan.

Irish Sailing head Laser coach Vasilij Zbogar, a triple Olympic medallist himself with Slovenia, believes that Glynn has a chance at making a name for himself.

"Liam has been sailing really well over the last ten days; I am super happy with him and it will be very interesting to see his results," said Zbogar.

Olympic veteran Lynch will be the one leading the Irish hopes at the Championships that begin this morning (8am UK time).

The Irish team was the first overseas team to become established at the venue and the trio have fully adjusted to the conditions, afloat and ashore.

"It's been much smoother than I expected," commented Zbogar. "We now have good knowledge of the local wind and currents in the race area."

Lynch delivered top ten results at three consecutive regattas in Miami, Palma and Marseilles before slipping to 18th overall at the Laser European Championships at Porto in late May.

"It was to be expected after four regattas in a row with not much chance to recover," said Zbogar.

"We were also late getting set-up in Porto and the conditions were very strong so adapting took longer."

The late arrival for the Europeans partly explains the early arrival in Japan to ensure best preparation at the venue.

"Finn is ready, his boat-speed upwind and downwind is excellent," said Zbogar. "But the feel of stress for the worlds is way more than normal. He has to understand and learn from it and then use it as a weapon.

"Ewan is quite solid.  He's still quite young and needs experience but he's a big talent. The good thing here is that there's no pressure so he can sail freely."

The series begins with two races daily in a qualification round to determine gold, silver and bronze fleets before final rounds next Monday and Tuesday. 

Ireland needs to be in the top five of unqualified nations to secure a berth for Tokyo 2020.  Once qualified, a trials series will follow to select the best sailor.

Later in July, Ireland's Aoife Hopkins and Aisling Keller will commence their Laser Radial class World Championships, also in Sakaiminato, aiming to secure a place in the Olympics next year.

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