Forty per cent of the sailors who have applied to Olympic Solidarity for "Athens 2004" Olympic Scholarship have been granted scholarships.
Of the 30 applications which to date have been considered by Olympic Solidarity, 12 have been approved, with further applications in progress.
"This is a great result for our sport ",
commented Paul Henderson, "and indicates the commitment given by Olympic Solidarity. Together ISAF and its MNA's must continue to promote the opportunities provided by Olympic Solidarity."
ISAF has today been informed by Olympic Solidarity of a further two scholarship approvals for:
Kevin Lim (MAS) - Laser
Oka Sulaksana (INA) - Mistral
Kevin, who is currently ranked 104 in the world, is one of Malaysia's hottest hopes for a top placing at the Olympics. He was a previous beneficiary of the Scholarship Programme for Sydney 2002, where he placed 22nd. For Kevin the funding from the Scholarship programme will enable him to fulfil his training programme at home and compete internationally.
Oka, who finished 13th at the 1996 Olympic Regatta, and 19th in Sydney (including a bullet in race 2), is currently ranked 166th in the world. He will also be using the funding to provide high performance training nationally, whilst also competing internationally.
The Olympic Scholarship Programme provides essential financial support for the preparation and qualification of a nation's athletes for the 2004 Olympics. The Scholarship support and funding is able to place these athletes from developing countries on an equal footing with their counterparts from the regions of the world which do not have the same needs, and enables them to train to fulfil their ability and potential. The programme is aimed at athletes proposed by their National Olympic Committee who practise an individual Olympic sport and have the ability to succeed, but are hindered in their quest to qualify for the Olympic Games by a lack of high quality facilities, high level coaches or funding.