It is dream come true for the Cook Islands sailors Teau McKenzie (Laser Radial) and Taua Henry (Laser) who have qualified to the 2016 Olympic Games.
The duo managed to meet the qualifying standards at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Melbourne, Australia over the weekend to book their tickets to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the Olympics.
McKenzie finished 13 out of 20 participants while Henry managed 23rd spot at the competition in Melbourne.
Both McKenzie and Henry were part of the World Sailing’s Emerging Programme which proved to be an important component in their developments.
The duo grew from sailing Optimists in their early teens through to the laser class.
The 20-year-old McKenzie, who has been sailing since 12, has been competing internationally since 2009.
Henry, 25, who started sailing in a wooden Optimist when he was nine, gradually moved on to plastic Optimist before upgrading to a Laser.
He started travelling overseas for international competition in 2007 and has since participated in eight of the Emerging Nations camp.
McKenzie and Henry have spent the last four weeks working intensity with Australian coach Laura Baldwin at her training facility in Sydney.
Henry thanked his coach and supporters for helping him realise his Olympics dream.
“Thank you to all the family and friends for the support, your encouragement is my strength to push through to this level,” Henry posted on Facebook.