Sailor Cheng all but guaranteed of Laser gold
Laser Standard sailor has almost unassailable lead over Malaysian rival
As long as Colin Cheng makes it to the National Sailing Centre on time for his medal race at 10.30am today, he is assured of Singapore's first gold medal in sailing.
The 25-year-old has won seven of his nine races in the Men's Laser Standard event, rendering today's medal race a moot point.
Cheng has 11 points, while Malaysia's Khairulnizam Afendy sits far behind in second on 21. Thailand's Keerati Bualong is third with 25.
While points in the medal race count as double, even a fourth-placed finish for Cheng - in the field of four - will still see him stay on top of the final standings.
"It's nice (to get on the medal board), but there are still many more events and, hopefully, more medals, to come," said Terence Koh, Singapore Sailing Federation's head of high performance.
"Colin still has to compete in the medal race to be assured of the medal, although looking at the points, he will be the clear winner."
Singapore Sailing were rocked on Sunday when they lost the Team Racing Optimist (Under-16) event to Malaysia.
At the National Sailing Centre yesterday, the hosts seemed bent on proving a point as Cheng, who posted a 15th-placed finish in the Laser event at the 2012 London Olympics - Asia's highest finish that year - started things off in the Laser Standard.
Sailor of the Year Bernie Chin also had a good outing as he posted three wins out of four races in the Men's Youth Laser Radial (Under-19).
The 15-year-old, gold medallist at last year's Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, leads Thailand's Apiwat Sringam by three points after eight races. Today will see Race 9 and the final medal race.
The women's keelboat racing team of Jovina Choo, Terena Lam, Dawn Liu and Daniella Ang, are also favourites to land the gold medal today as they take a six-point lead going into the final four races.
The Singapore women have won six out of six races since Sunday.
But there was no joy for the hosts in the women's Laser Radial as Thailand's Kamolwan Chanyim surged to an almost unassailable 11-point lead over Singapore's Victoria Chan, who sits in second place.
The Thai has won all of her eight races, with two to go.
"Victoria has a pretty big gap between her and first place, but it's never over until after the final race," Koh said.
"Overall (yesterday), it was a satisfactory performance. The effort from the sailors was there and you can't ask for more."