Sailors gunning for London 2012 and beyond

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Four Sydney University Elite Athlete Program scholarship holders – Krystal Weir, Elizabeth Yin, William Ryan and Alexandra South – are doing all they can to make their 2012 London Olympic Games dream a reality.   

At just 24, Krystal Weir will be gunning for her second Olympic Games appearance in 2012. Weir , who is studying a Master of Physiotherapy, finished a creditable 10th overall at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the Yngling class. She is now competing in the Radial class where she currently ranks 26th in the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) world rankings.

Weir has also recently been selected to represent Australia for a 2012 Olympic Games test event. The event will be held at the Olympic venue (Weymouth) from July 31 to August 13.

Her stand-out performance of the season came recently during the last leg of the ISAF World Cup, held in Kieler Woche (Germany), where she won a silver medal. Weir is one of the front-runners to represent Australia at the 2012 Games, given her vast experience and her performances in her class.

Twenty-year-old Bachelor of Science student Elizabeth Yin is a member of the Singapore sailing team. As with Weir, Yin competes in the radial class where she currently ranks 43 in the ISAF World rankings. Her stand-out performance for the season also came at the ISAF World Cup, where she finished 10th overall.

She has been selected to represent Singapore for the Olympic Games test event and is currently in a good position to represent Singapore at the 2012 Olympic Games.

William Ryan, 23, is a member of the Australian sailing squad. Ryan, studying a Bachelor of Economics at Sydney University, and skipper Sam Kievll (Melbourne University) are partners in the 470 Class, where they rank 11th in the ISAF world rankings.

The pair ended the 2011 ISAF World Cup in sixth position. Their stand-out performance came in the Sail Melbourne International Regatta where they won bronze for Australia. Ryan and his skipper have a difficult path ahead of them to win selection for 2012, where they will have to qualify in front of another Australian pair who are the number 1 ranked team in the world.

And 19 year old Alexandra South, who is studying a Bachelor of Political, Economic and Social Sciences, is also a member of the Australian sailing squad.

South is campaigning in the radial class and currently ranks 80th in the ISAF world rankings. She has only taken part in one World Cup event this season where she finished 29th at the Sail Melbourne International Regatta.

While London in 2012 may be a stretch, there is no doubt that South will be a serious contender at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Large parts of this article are courtesy of Ajay Rau of the Australian University Sailing Association.