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US Sailing Earns Olympic Quota Spots In Laser, Laser Radial And Men’s 470

By Todd Kortemeier | Aug. 09, 2018, 3:03 p.m. (ET)

(L-R) Stuart McNay and David Hughes compete in the men's 470 at the World Sailing Championships on August 3, 2018 in Aarhus, Denmark.


With just under two years to go until the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the United States knows the first three sailing classes in which it will be competing after clinching three Olympic quota spots at the World Sailing Championships in Aarhus, Denmark.

The U.S. earned spots in Laser, Laser Radial and men’s 470. Countries qualify quota spots for Tokyo based on their finish in any of four qualifying events. The world championships is the largest of these, with 101 spots on the line – 40 percent of the Olympic field. The U.S. did not qualify quotas in Finn, women’s 470 and 49erFX; the next opportunity will come at each boat’s 2019 world championships. Races still remain in both men’s and women’s RS:X, 49er and Nacra 17 Foiling.

Team USA’s Charlie Buckingham finished 11th in Laser in Aarhus, and as the eighth National Olympic Committee (NOC), with 14 quota spots available for his event. The U.S. has never won an Olympic medal in Laser dating back to its debut in 1996. But the U.S. does have 12 Laser World Championship medals, most recently in 2004. Buckingham finished 11th at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

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Two-time Olympian Paige Railey sits in fourth in Laser Radial with 18 quota spots available; only the medal race remains and the top 10 sailors advance to that. Railey finished eighth in London and 10th in Rio. The U.S. has one Olympic gold medal in Laser Radial, won by Anna Tunnicliffe in the event’s debut in 2008. 

The U.S. team of three-time Olympian Stuart McNay and 2016 Olympian David Hughes finished seventh in men’s 470, the sixth NOC out of eight spots available. The duo finished just off the podium in fourth in Rio. The U.S. has five Olympic medals in men’s 470, most recently a gold medal performance from Paul Foerster and Kevin Burnham in 2004.

The world championships conclude on Aug. 12.

Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

Related Athletes

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Charlie Buckingham

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Paige Railey

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Stuart McNay

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David Hughes