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Thursday September 4, 2014 MYT 7:28:00 PM
Thursday September 4, 2014 MYT 11:32:35 PM
by lim teik huat
Khairulnizam will compete in the Sailing World Championships in Santander, Spain, from Sept 8-18 before competing in the Asian Games on Sept 20.
PETALING JAYA: Myanmar SEA Games champion Khairulnizam Mohd Afendy is bracing for the toughest three weeks of his sailing career with major back-to-back assignments.
The 20-year-old has a chance to earn a second successive appearance at the Olympic stage in Laser Standard at the Sailing World Championships in Santander, Spain, from Sept 8-18.
Khairulnizam, youngster sister Khairulneeta and Nur Amirah Hamid, who will both compete in Laser Radial, are the Malaysians flying the flag at the world meet.
Khairulnizam will then fly to Incheon, South Korea, to join the sailing squad for the Asian Games, where he is seeking to win his first medal, hopefully gold.
The Asiad is from Sept 19-Oct 4 while the sailing competition begins on Sept 20 Khairulnizam, who took silver at the Sailing Asian Championships in Incheon in June, described both meets as being important to him.
“I am trying to qualify early for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. The world meet is the first of two Olympic qualifiers and half of the slots (23) will be decided here,” said Khairulnizam, who has been training in Santander for the past two weeks.
“If I can make the top 40 (medal fleet), I have a good chance as only one sailor can represent each country at the Olympics.
“If I don’t qualify, I can do it at next year’s world meet or the Asian qualifier.”
In Incheon, Khairulnizam will seek to improve on his fourth-placed finish in Laser Standard in his Asian Games debut in Guangzhou four years ago.
He also finished 60th out of 130 participants at the Laser Standard World Championships in Oman last year.
Sailing is targeting a medal in all 10 events at the Asian Games.
In Guangzhou four years ago, Malaysia finished with two silvers and one bronze.
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