Pedro Pascual has laid claim to a starting spot in men’s RS:X at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. He earned his way to his first Olympic competition during racing at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia on Friday in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
Pascual entered the regatta with an eight-point lead in the U.S. Olympic selection over his closest pursuer, Carson Crain. His performance in Spain has solidified his position at the top RS:X for the United States entering the Rio competition, as he stood 21st entering Saturday’s racing, well ahead of Crain’s 62nd.
The 19-year-old Pascual began learning the sport in Cadiz, Spain, at the age of 13. A mechanical engineering student at Florida Atlantic University, his most recent international victory was the gold he won at the 2015 RS:One European championship.
Sailors who already have earned the spots in Rio are: Thomas Barrows and Joe Morris in the 49er class; Paris Henken and Helena Scutt in the 49er FX; Bora Gulari and Louisa Chafee in Nacra 17; 2012 Olympian Paige Railey in Laser Radial; Caleb Paine in Finn; Charlie Buckingham in Laser; and Marion Lepert in women’s RS:X. The United States will field a full team in Rio as it has qualified to compete in all 10 Olympic classes, as well as the three Paralympic classes.