Ireland’s pairing of Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove earned the final European 49er quota place for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in a final blaze of glory at the Lanzarote International Regatta.
Dickson and Waddilove won the concluding medal race to finish third overall on 103.00 points, well clear of their only remaining challenger for the place, the Belgian duo of Yannick Lefebvre and Tom Pelsmaekers, who finished ninth and last.
The day had begun with the 16th and final fleet race, which saw the Belgians finish five places ahead of the Irish crew in sixth place.
That was enough to get the Belgian team into the concluding medal race, but even if they had won and the Irish had finished last they would still have been unable to overhaul Dickson and Waddilove's points total.
The Dublin-based Irish pair, who won the world junior title in 2018, also finished well clear of their domestic 49er rivals, Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle, who were 12th.
Irish Sailing performance director James O'Callaghan told newstalk.com: "The whole team have all worked really hard preparing for the Tokyo Olympics and qualifying today is a really important step, and a milestone for Rob and Sean.
"It’s a bitter sweet feeling for Ryan and Seafra, as they had hoped to win the nomination, but without these two boats working as a team Ireland would have had no chance securing the last available Olympic place."
The overall 49er race was won by Spain's double European champions Diego Botin Le Chever and Iago Lopez Marra on 54 points, with Denmark’s Jonas Warrer and Jakob Precht Jensen second on 93.
In the women’s 49er FX class the Belgian pairing of Isaura Maenhaut and Anouk Geurts won the race for the Tokyo 2020 quota, finishing seventh overall on 121.0 points after placing fourth in the medal race.
Their nearest challengers for the European quota place, the Croatian pairing of Enia Nincevic and Mihaela Zjena, finished tenth on 165.0, having finished tenth and last in the medal race.
The overall 49er FX race was won Brazil’s Rio 2016 champions Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze, who ended with 74.0 points.
In the mixed Nacra 17 class the European place was being chased by competitors from Finland, Croatia, The Netherlands, Greece, Poland, Hungary and Russia.
Sinem Kurtbay and Janne Jarvine of Finland claimed the prize as they finished fifth on 105.0, with their nearest rivals, Iordanis Paschalidis and Myrto Papadopoulou of Greece, taking seventh place on 128.0.
The overall race went to the Spanish pairing Tara Pacheco and Florian Trittel, who totalled 42.3 points.