Toronto sailor Sarah Douglas qualifies for 2024 Paris Olympics

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Toronto’s Sarah Douglas is one step closer to the record books, yet again.

Douglas, 29, qualified Canada for the 2024 Olympics in ILCA 6, the first one for the country, at the sailing world championships on Saturday.

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Douglas finished 24th overall in the women’s dinghy to be the top Canadian on both the men’s and women’s side at the worlds, which continue through to Sunday.

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Douglas already holds the best-ever Olympic result for a Canadian woman in an individual sailing event after she finished sixth in the laser radial at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games.

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However, no athlete met the Sail Canada selection process criteria to automatically qualify themselves in ILCA 6 for the 2024 Games.

In order to do so, the athlete with the lowest score combined position from the 2024 worlds in their respective classes and the 2024 Princess Sofia Regatta, added together, will be selected based on a sailing scoring system, which is lowest score first.

In the case of a tie, the athlete or team in the higher position, based on the sailing scoring system, at the 2024 Princess Sofia Regatta will qualify to be nominated. If an event is cancelled, it will be replaced by the 2024 European championships of the class.

“I’m really happy to have qualified Canada in ILCA 6 for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games,” Douglas said in a statement. “It’s great to know that Canada will have a boat on that starting line and, hopefully, it will be me.”

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If she is selected, she will aim to be the first Canadian woman ever to win an Olympic sailing medal when the event gets underway next August at the Marseille Marina in France.

The former University of Guelph student started sailing at 7 in Barbados. She returned to Canada to attend high school and quickly became one of the top youth sailors in the country.

Douglas also competes with alpha thalassemia, a genetic blood disorder which reduces the amount of hemoglobin your body produces. Douglas has said she has worked to overcome the condition by maintaining one of the best fitness levels in her boat class.

In 2019, she won the women’s laser radial even at the Pan American Games in Peru, while her older brother, Greg Douglas, is a two-time Olympian in sailing who has represented both Barbados (Beijing 2008) and Canada (London 2012).

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