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Laser Worlds - Thompson looking for third World title

After the success of British competitors at recent Olympic class World Championships the Laser class is the next to face the spotlight.Nick Thompson -

The men's Laser Worlds open in Split, Croata, on Thursday and Britain's Nick Thompson is defending the title he won in 2015 and 2016.

But it has not been the same success story where the Olympics are involved, there has not been a British Team sailor on the podium since Paul Goodison took gold back in 2008.

This championship has attracted a big field of 148 entries representing 52 countries, and Britain has an entry of nine.

Thompson finished fifth at the Sailing World Cup final in Santander back in June with Lorenzo Brando Chiavarini in eighth and Michael Beckett in ninth.

Elliot Hanson has been in good form this season, winning the Dutch Delta Lloyd Regatta ahead of Charlie Buckingham of the USA and Matt Wearn of Australia.

These four together with Jack Aitken, Jack Cookson, Jack Wetherell, Sam Whaley and Dan Whiteley will compete in Split.

Winner of the recent Sailing World Cup final, Jean Baptiste Bernaz of France, plus podium finishers Philipp Buhl of Germany and Charlie Buckingham of the USA are competing in Split.

Also in attendance is Australia's Tom Burton, gold medalist at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and Matthew Wearn fourth at the 2016 Worlds.

It's a long time to Tokyo 2020 but with the British team concentration on targeting Olympic medals, all eyes will be on Thompson and who in the British squad can provide some realistic competition to him for the Olympic spot.

The 2017 Laser Worlds will open on Thursday in Split with two qualifying races.

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