Local sailor granted a surprise chance to realise her Olympic dream

Moncada competes during a recent regatta.
Moncada competes during a recent regatta. / SUR
  • Ana Moncada is one of four contenders to be granted a ticket to Tokyo by the Spanish federation after New Zealand pulled out in her category

With the Tokyo Olympics now just months away, one of the many athletes hoping to compete is Estepona-born sailor Ana Moncada. The 19-year-old is one of four contenders to represent Spain in the Laser Radial sailing category in Japan this summer. Moncada is the reigning European under-21 champion in this category, in addition to having finished runner-up in the most recent world youth championship.

The upcoming sailing meet in Hyères in France from 17 to 24 April had been due to act as a qualification event for Laser Radial in the Olympics but, after the New Zealand team pulled out, Spain was automatically granted a place. Now, it is up to the Spanish sailing federation to decide which athlete will take the ticket to Tokyo. Moncada is seen as one of the frontrunners and commented: "It's exciting but there's still a lot of uncertainty as to who will be given the place." Her fellow contenders for the spot are Cristina Pujol, Fátima Reyes and Martina Reino.

Moncada believes her youth could be an asset to her but stresses: "I don't know if they'll take this into account when making the final decision. Whatever happens, I'm going to keep working and fighting to go to the Games."

Moncada has a few opportunities to stake her claim for the place, not only at the Hyères event but also through the Spanish Cup and the European championship in Bulgaria from 15 to 22 May. She underlines: "The two international regattas will be particularly important in the selection process. We know that the Federation will be watching, so we'll all be keen to perform to the best of our abilities."