Sailing: Aisling Keller secures Ireland’s boat at Tokyo 2020
Keller and Aoife Hopkins sail inside Olympics qualification time in the laser radial
Annalise Murphy in action in the laser radial at the 2016 Olympics - Ireland have qualified a boat for 2020. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Aisling Keller has qualified Ireland’s boat for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the laser radial.
Ireland have qualified for the women’s single-handed event in Tokyo, after Keller sailed to 46th place at the laser radial World Championships on Wednesday.
Fellow Irish sailor Aoife Hopkins finished behind Keller in 48th place, with both coming inside the qualification criteria.
Keller’s time was good enough to secure the seventh of 10 Olympic places which were on offer at the championships. Hopkins’ effort would have been good enough to secure the ninth.
After the race, Keller said: “This is a weight off my shoulders for sure, it’s probably the hardest regatta I’ve ever sailed. To come in off the water and know that it’s done and dusted is just amazing (I’m) so happy.”
Meanwhile, Hopkins said: “It’s been a really long road to this moment. We’ve been working for a year towards this event particularly and even longer towards Olympic qualification. It’s really nice to come away with the outcome we wanted.”
The world championship was won by Denmark’s Anne-Marie Rindom who led overall going into to the final day of Gold fleet racing on Wednesday.
Ten nation places for Tokyo 2020 were also decided at the event in addition to the 20 already won in 2018.