Athletics: Star duo seal olympic berth
Ireland secured a third sailing qualification for the 2012 Olympic Games yesterday as Peter O'Leary and David Burrows finished 12th overall in the Star keelboat at the ISAF World Championships in Perth.
The improvement from 15th overall to 12th was sufficient to convincingly deliver the ninth of 11 national qualifying places for the Games.
A seventh place in the first race of the day set them up for a controlling and covering race afterwards. But the plan came under pressure after a close-call incident with a Spanish rival and they took their penalty turns as a precaution.
This dropped O'Leary and Burrows to almost dead last with just over half the race remaining. However, with confidence in their downwind performance, O'Leary and Burrow eased into 13th place overall, a stark improvement of almost 20 places.
"We need to a bit more racing in Europe when we get back in the new year," O'Leary said.
"There'll be a few other things we want to do such as development of the boat and sails."
In the Laser class, James Espey lies three places inside the qualifying standard with two races to be contested today.