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17 August 2010, 02:21 am
Singapore's Darren Choy Hopes To Light Up Youth Olympics Once Again
Youth Olympic Games in Singapore
Darren Choy and Niki Blassar current Byte Cll World Champions

Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games
Singapore

Local hero Darren Choy will spearhead the Singaporean challenge in the Youth Olympic regatta on Tuesday when he competes in the boys Byte CII at the National Sailing Centre.
Darren Choy was chosen to light the Olympic cauldron after winning gold earlier this year at the Byte Cll World Championship in Cannes, France, and he is looking forward to performing on his home waters.

"It makes me much more confident to be here, sailing in my home country," he said.

"I'm very excited to have my friends and family watching me."

"They have all been very supportive and they think it gives me an upper hand, but sailing is unpredictable."

Niki Blässar (FIN) starts as one of the favourites for the girls' equivalent event thanks to her world champion status, and many emerging nations will have their first taste of competition at this level.

Lara Granier (KEN) is the youngest female in the Byte fleet at 14 years old. She prefers light airs but has experienced 30-knot winds earlier in her career.

"It will be difficult in a boat I have never seen before." Granier said.

"The rigging is quite hard and when the wind picks up, sometimes it is only my feet that are in the boat, and I keep capsizing. It can be horrible."

The Techno 293 windsurfer fleet is also on the water on Tuesday.

The boys' class features Argentina's Bautista Saubidet Birkner, who is the youngest windsurfer in the competition having turned 14 years old in November.

Saubidet Birkner lives a stone's throw from the River Plate in Buenos Aires and windsurfs on the famous river.

He took the South American championship in his first year of international competition, and is aiming for a top-ten finish at the Youth Olympics.

"For me, it will be difficult because the guys I am up against have been windsurfing for many more years," he said.

Great Britain's Kieran Martin lives in Stoke, a landlocked town in England's industrial midlands.

Despite his disadvantageous location, he finished fourth in the world championships in Martigues, France in July and believes he can win a medal here.

"People are very shocked because we are no where near the sea," Martin said.

"It is an hour and forty five minutes away, so I train on a lake."

"Sometimes on weekends, we travel to the sea just to get some waves."

For full details on the Sailing competition at the Youth Olympic Games visit: www.sailing.org/yog

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