Cyprus Mail

Lappa the latest Cypriot to qualify for Olympics

hempel youth sailing world championships
Natassa Lappa, 19, will compete in the RS:X windsurfing class in Tokyo this summer

Sailor Natassa Lapa has qualified for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, following hot on the heels of fellow sailor Marilena Makri and cyclist Antri Christoforou.

Lappa, 19, will compete in the RS:X windsurfing class and becomes the fourth member of the Cypriot sailing team, alongside Andreas Cariolou, Pavlos Kontides and Makri. She is the 12th member of the Cyprus Olympic team overall.

“A childhood dream has become a reality,” said Lappa. “I am now entering a very demanding period of preparation with daily training sessions, both in the water and at the gym, which also includes various competitions before the Olympics themselves,” Lappa added.

“It is incredibly important to me that I am participating in the #TowardsTokyo program because every little bit of support is very precious to an athlete. This support becomes all the more important when it’s coming from another athlete’s initiative who also happens to be a role model,” Lappa concluded.

Kontides’ #TowardsTokyo Athletic Responsibility program was created by the Cypriot Olympic silver medallist in 2019 with the aim of supporting promising young Cypriot athletes on their path to secure Olympic qualification.

The program supports these athletes by covering a portion of their training and travelling expenses. The initiative generates income through the selling of various pieces of memorabilia bearing Kontides’ signature. These can be found and purchased at

“First and foremost I would like to congratulate Natasa for her qualification to the Olympics. I cannot hide the fact that my elation is even greater because she is also making the Cypriot Olympic sailing team even bigger and the most populous one to compete at the Olympics in our history,” said Kontides.

“The #TowardsTokyo initiative was created for two reasons. Firstly, to expand our Olympic team. Secondly, to help Cyprus have the best representation at the Olympic Games we can have, particularly in the knowledge that an athlete’s preparation for such an event can be extremely costly,” Kontides added.

The programme will ultimately pump €10,000 into supporting the five athletes chosen during the initiative’s first Olympic cycle.

More details can be found at: and Kontides’ Facebook page at:

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