JAVIER Hernandez, coach of TT sailor and two-time Olympian Andrew Lewis, said the athlete sacrificed a lot to achieve this year’s Olympic qualification.
On January 25, Lewis booked his spot in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, finishing fourth in the men’s laser medal race at the Hempel World Cup Series in Miami, Florida.
In an interview with Newsday last Thursday, he described Hernandez as a "simple" coach, which he said he appreciated as he is a simple man.
“A lot of coaches are too complex and too over-calculated. I need someone who is straightforward.”
Hernandez became Lewis’s coach in January 2019.
He represented his home country – Spain – at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China and at the 2012 Games in London.
In addition to TT, he also helped South Korea, Guatemala and El Salvador secure spots in the 2020 Games.
Speaking with Newsday, he said while it was challenging to earn a spot in the Olympics this season, as the competition was tough, he knew it was not impossible, as Lewis is a hard worker.
“He is a really clever boy. Training is really good, he’s a really good sailor. He likes training hard, and this year we are doing a lot of distance training.”
In December 2015, Lewis suffered a life-threatening injury. His lungs were punctured, legs broken and several bones in his face were also broken.
Hernandez said it was great to see such a recovery, and he believes Lewis is very strong.
“He really sacrificed. (He) sailed a lot of hours with windy conditions, (he was) making plans, training a lot…
”We are really happy and now we need to continue training to get a good result at the Olympics.”
The Games begin on July 24 and end on August 9.
Lewis will compete in the men’s single-handed dinghy event.