The Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games Boys Techno 293 fleet will feature 20 hungry athletes aiming to impress, achieve their personal goals and enjoy the YOG experience. [MORE]
Based on Lake Jinniu in Nanjing the windsurfers, aged 15-16, from 20 nations will fly their flag on the Chinese waters with racing at the second Youth Olympiad scheduled to commence on Monday 18 August at 11:00 local time.
A continental qualification system has ensured that the best windsurfers from Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Europe, North America and the Caribbean and Oceania have got a spot on the start line.
Myanmar’s Set Naing Aung’s has had a two year rapid rise in windsurfing and took the third qualification spot out of three at the Asian Championship in Singapore in January. He finished sixth overall but his journey to the event has been a huge upwards curve that has seen him achieve beyond his dreams, “I began preparations for the 27th  South East Asian [SEA] Games 12 months before the actual event. Prior to that, I had never seen a sail boat in my life nor have I ever been to the beach and seen the open sea / ocean.
“In the sports school, I was training in the sport of diving for six months before the Myanmar Yachting Federation (MYF) selected me to be a part of the sailing program. I had no idea what I was getting myself into but when I first saw the windsurfing videos during the recruitment presentation, I knew that I wanted to do just that.”
Naing Aung took the sport effortlessly and at the SEA Games he claimed top spot overall, “Being a newcomer to the sport, I did not plan to win the gold but rather to achieve a podium position as that was the objective set forth by the MYF. However, I tried my best and managed to secure the gold which is currently my proudest achievement in my sports career. Furthermore, the Sports Ministry also awarded me with the ‘Most Improved Athlete 2014’ Award which is also a very proud achievement for me.”
Nine nations were aiming for one of three qualification spots at the Asian Championship. Japan and Thailand picked up the first two with Naing Aung taking the final spot for Myanmar, “Qualifying for YOG was also quite unexpected since the competition was very strong. I simply sailed as fast as I could, trying to win one race at a time. Finally, when I was told by Manager and Coach that we managed to qualify, I was so happy and satisfied. I do not plan to win the YOG but I will certainly do my best to get the best results. I am just happy I qualified and get a chance to participate in such a prestigious event.
“This is my first International event and I am very excited. It is already a privilege to be competing with the world’s best youth sailors and I hope I can make my country, team and family proud. I hope it will be fun to visit a new country and also to experience what it feels like to be in the Youth Olympics.”
pic by Patrik Pollak