Sailing duo set sights on Rio

Roger Hudson and Asenathi Jim (Getty Images)
Roger Hudson and Asenathi Jim (Getty Images)

Johannesburg - South African Olympic sailor Roger Hudson says he and his partner Asenathi Jim are taking their first steps toward qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Hudson and Jim are currently competing at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Qingdao, China, ahead of next year's Sailing World Championships in Spain.

Having raced against time to qualify for the 2012 Games in just 18 months, the pair are making the most of a longer build-up period.

"We're still playing catch up and the target last time was to qualify but the target is higher this time round so it's nice to have a bit more time," Hudson said on Tuesday.

"But we're still under a lot of pressure to get where we want."

Next year's World Championships event in Santander would provide sailors with the first opportunity to qualify for the 2016 Olympics, and Hudson said they were looking forward to competing for a place.

"Every World Championship is a big one and Santander is a bit special because it's the first Olympic qualifier," he said.

"It's a long way away from the Games so it would be nice to get that done but it will be a tough one.

"We're pushing for every improvement we can make at this point."

Qingdao, meanwhile, hosted the sailing event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and although conditions were less than ideal for sailing, Hudson said wind speeds were far better this year than in 2008.

"So far the weather's been very mild and there's some nice breeze," Hudson said.

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