Emma Plasschaert became world sailing champion on Friday for the first time in her career, winning the Women’s Radial Laser World Championship in Aarhus, Denmark. Plasschaert had had 11 points over defending world and Olympic champion Marrit Bouwmeester of the Netherlands before the medal race, in which the first 10 finishers compete, and the points are doubled. On Friday, she finished in 5th place behind Bouwmeester (4th), enough to earn her the gold medal. The Dutch sailer won silver, while bronze went to Anne-Marie Rindom from Denmark.
The 24-year-old World No.1, who hails from Ostend, has now won her first major title in a big championship, following up on her victory at the World Cup in Marseille on the 10th of June last. Plasschaert finished 2nd in the Miami leg of the World Cup in January and 2nd in the Japanese leg, in Gamagori, at the opening in October last.
While she also won twice at Olympic Week in Cadiz, Spain, a less prestigious competition, her success in Marseille was, until now, the most important win in her career.
Her new world title is even more prestigious and has earned Belgium its ticket for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Plasschaert had finished 17th at the 2017 Women’s Radial Laser World championship in Medemblik in the Netherlands.
Emma Plasschaert is the proud successor of Evi Van Acker, who never managed to become world champion. The sailer from Ghent was world vice champion last year before going into retirement. She had placed 4th at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 and 3rd at the London Olympics in 2012.