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Laser Radial Worlds kick-start the Olympic road

The Laser Radial Worlds start on Monday and Britain's Alison Young will be defending the title she won in Mexico, last year.Alison Young -

The top five world-ranked sailors of the women's Olympic singlehander class will be in Medemblik challenging Young, plus two other former world champions and the 2016 Olympic gold medalist.

Marit Bouwmeester (NED), claimed gold in Rio and was named World Champion in Santander in 2014, her second world title after Perth in 2011.

In 2015, Anne Marie Rindom (DEN) won the World Championships in Al Musannah, Oman, before Alison Young won the 2016 world title in Nayarit, Mexico.

The two-time Olympian had an injury-marred start to this post-Olympic year. She finished fourth in the World Cup event in Hyeres, did not compete in Santander and took fifth in the Aarhus test event last week.

“In reality my season so far has been poor, I haven't been racing at my best, but I will be fighting hard every second of every race and if I string together enough of the right components then I’m sure I can be competitive,” said a resolute Young.

Although Young's #1 position within the British team has not been challenged strongly, this is an event where National Lottery-funded British Sailing Team talents Georgina Povall, Ellie Cumpsty and Clementine Thompson need to step-up with 2020 in mind.

The Olympics might seem a long way off but with the reduced World Series schedule the opportunities for this level of competition are relatively few.

The two fleets of 100 women and 64 men representing 45 countries will sail two races back-to-back each day when the event starts on the IJsselmeer Monday 21-26 August.

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