Marlow are delighted to hear that the first TEAM GB sailors have been selected from the British Sailing Team for Tokyo 2020, all rigged by Marlow through our Official Supplier status to the British Sailing Team.
After a targeted four year campaign, and for many of the athletes, far longer, their hard work has paid off with a call to represent Great Britain at Tokyo 2020. Britain has a rich history of excellence in Olympic competition, having won 58 medals – including 28 golds – since sailing made its debut at Paris 1900. Team GB currently tops the overall Olympic sailing medal table.
The selected sailors are:
Giles Scott: Finn (Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy)
Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre: 470 Women (Women’s Two Person Dinghy)
Luke Patience and Chris Grube: 470 Men (Men’s Two Person Dinghy)
Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey: 49er FX (Women’s Skiff)
Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell: 49er (Men’s Skiff)
Alison Young: Laser Radial (Women’s One Person Dinghy)
Emma Wilson: RS:X Women (Women’s Windsurfer)
Tom Squires: RS:X Men (Men’s Windsurfer)
Congratulations to all!
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE, COURTESY OF THE RYA IS AS FOLLOWS:
The Rio 2016 champions are joined by a host of elite sailors representing eight of the 10 Olympic sailing classes, as the team is announced at Haven Holiday Park, Rockley Park in Poole.
A Tokyo 2020 medal for Mills would make her the most successful female Olympic sailor of all time. She will look to defend her crown in the 470 Women’s event alongside crew Eilidh McIntyre, who makes her Olympic debut 32 years after her dad Mike won gold for GB in the Star class.
Mills and McIntyre have rarely been off the podium since teaming up in 2017, with their success culminating in victory at the 2019 World Championships and silver at the Ready Steady Tokyo test event this summer.
Scott has also enjoyed a run of success in 2019, claiming his third Finn class European title and a bronze at Ready Steady Tokyo.
Patience, sailing in his third Olympics, will compete in the 470 Men class alongside Rio 2016 crew Chris Grube, while Bithell will fly the flag for Britain in the 49er class with Rio Olympian Dylan Fletcher.
Squires takes up the mantle from veteran Olympian Nick Dempsey, the most successful Olympic windsurfer of all time with five Games and three medals to his name.
Wilson, the daughter of 1988 and 1992 Olympic windsurfer Penny Way, will look to win Britain’s first Olympic medal in women’s windsurfing since Bryony Shaw’s bronze at Beijing 2008.
Alison Young, the 2015 Laser Radial World Champion, earns her third Team GB call-up to round off the first wave of sailing selections for Tokyo 2020.
WHAT DO OUR AMBASSADORS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE ANNOUNCEMENT?
Luke Patience, 33, from Rhu, Scotland, now living Southampton, Hants: “It’s an emotional rollercoaster waiting for that call. You know there are meetings being held and you are just waiting for news one way or the other. That’s the third call I’ve had with that news in my life and you still never get used to it. You never expect to be on the Olympic start line but when it is confirmed it’s one of those little moments in life that doesn’t get any better – to be at the greatest show on Earth. Getting the call early really gives you a boost. The crucial thing it gives you is more time. By that confirmation they are saying ‘here is more time’. So instead of being in a process and thinking about something different like winning a trials or selection you are now gifted extra months – that’s a massive mindset change for an athlete. You aren’t distracted and are given a ticket to focus on the one regatta you want to focus on for four years."
Chris Grube, 34, from Chester, Cheshire, now living Hamble, Hants: “This selection is three years of hard work coming to its conclusion. Luke and I got together just before Rio and about a year after the Games we said we would team up again and go for Tokyo. This is just the culmination of all that time and effort we have put in, so I’m really pleased to be going. It’s not the end of the hard work, we realise the mountain we have to climb, but we are going to give it everything. When we got the call for Rio we were ecstatic and this time we were a little more reserved. We’ve been there and got the t-shirt but this time it’s more about going to get a medal. We are pleased to be on the start line and are going to give it everything."
Charlotte Dobson, 33, from Rhu, Scotland, now living Portland, Dorset: “It’s amazing to be part of Team GB again in what will be my second Games. It’s just brilliant to have a long run in to the Olympic Games so I’m delighted.This time around the announcement feels more like an attack on the podium. Last time out it kind of felt like it was all about the experience and what it would be like at an Olympic Games. Although that was never what the goal was, that’s how it actually felt at the time, whereas this time it feels like a stepping stone to a bigger goal next year. It’s good to have a long preparation but it is also the time for us to really get our heads down and work."“When we get given that Team GB kit I know I’m just going to be so excited to know that me and Saskia will be wearing it together and that it marks the beginning of the last push in to the Games for us. It comes with a little bit of trepidation because we know how much work there is still left to do but it will be a really proud moment for our team to be wearing that kit together and to start to feel part of something bigger.”
Saskia Tidey, 25, from Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, now living Portland, Dorset: “Selection for Tokyo 2020 is a massive milestone in our campaign. It seems like a long journey to get to this point but it’s flown by. It was a challenging winter getting things right before heading into trials so it is so satisfying to see that the hard work has paid off. I’m so excited for the next stage of the journey, and so proud of Charlotte and myself that we stuck to our plan and now have the chance to go for gold at Tokyo 2020. It is a dream come true.
Dylan Fletcher, 31, from Thames Ditton, Surrey, now living Portland Dorset: “This will be both mine and Stu’s second Olympic Games and nothing can really prepare you for that first Olympic experience. I went to Rio with Alain (Sign) so this time around it will be a bit different and now we go with one thing in mind – to get a medal, and preferably a gold one. It’s almost a bit of a relief that this first stage is done. It’s massive to just get the spot - it’s such a competitive class and we were pushed hard. We were happy that when the pressure was on we could produce the results we needed to. We are proud of how we handled that pressure and that will help us with the immense pressure of the Games. There’s no doubt that on the plane home from Rio with the rest of Team GB I was so bitterly disappointed that it gave me this fire in my belly – more than I had ever had before to come back and campaign harder to right the wrong I felt I had in the last cycle. We wanted to show we could fight for a medal and be proud to represent our country again, and now we’ve got that chance. When we got the call we gave each other a hug – it was a big weight off our shoulders. It’s hard to put into words what it feels like to be going to a second Olympic Games, and our first together, representing Team GB and that British flag. It’s a special event and a special feeling.”
Stuart Bithell, 33, from Rochdale, Manchester, now living Portland, Dorset: “The call to say you’ve been picked for Team GB was the second best phone call I’ve had in my life. The first was back in the winter of 2011 when I got the same type of call to tell me I’d been selected for London 2012. Obviously this time it was amazing. We have been working really hard to get the job done early because we believe that would give us the best chance of a gold medal in 2020. We worked and got the results we said we wanted to get to be selected so we are chuffed to achieve that and now we look forward to the year ahead to the real thing. When Dylan and myself got together the goal was a gold medal - full stop. We want to be the best in the world and we have extreme competition in the 49er, especially with the Kiwis who have been totally dominant in the class for the past six years. If we give our best performance we will be in there fighting for a gold medal, and if we do that and don’t win we can still say we did our best. It’s going to be my last Olympic Games and it’s just rounding off that Olympic journey for me so it’s a bit emotional.”
Image credits (c) Nick Dempsey