The British Olympic Association (BOA) today announced the first athletes selected for Team GB at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Mark England, Team GB’s Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, said: “We are delighted to announce the first 12 athletes who have been selected to Team GB for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”
This names the athletes for eight of the 10 Olympic sailing class events. The athletes still to be selected are for the Nacra 17 and the men’s Laser events.
The 12 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: 49erFX (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)
There were no surprises among the selections, announced at Haven Holiday Park, Rockley Park in Poole on Tuesday (1 Oct). the selections made to date not really being in any doubt following the recent Tokyo test events and championship results.
But they are the most to be named at this stage of the run-up to the Games, with nine of the twelve selected on at least their second trip to the Olympics.
With this bold, early statement Ian Walker, RYA Director of Racing & Performance Director, is gambling that there is no drop in performance or health and injury problems amongst the squad over the next ten months.
Finn sailor Giles Scott, and 470 helm Hannah Mills are previous Olympic gold medal winners and at the top of their game, and will lead what is already looking to be a strong team to Tokyo in August next year.
UK Sport, who provide funding for the Olympic sports, also set medal targets for each of the sports it funds. The target for the recent Tokyo Final Test Event was 3 to 6 medals.
Britain finished that test event with 3 silver and 3 bronze. The medal target for Tokyo 2020 has not yet been announced.
Of the two events still to be announced, the Nacra 17 selection is being tightly contested between Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface, and John Gimson and Anna Burnet.
There is a World Championship for the Nacra class in late November in Auckland, New Zealand, so the BOA will most likely delay selection until at least after that event.
The Laser selection is coming down to a choice between the experienced members of the squad and and naming new, younger sailors.
Nick Thompson was sixth in Rio 2016 and is a double World Champion, but has been under pressure from younger members of the GBR Laser squad, including Elliot Hanson who was selected for the final Tokyo Test Event, but failed to impress.
At the following World Cup series event Thompson finished best Brit in ninth place.
But Mike Beckett (11th) and Elliot Hanson (13th) were competitive, and it seems that this will not be decided until after the Miami World Cup round, or even the Olympic Classes Princess Sofia Regatta in early 2020.
The Tokyo Olympics take place between 24 July and 9 August 2020. Britain is the Olympics’ most successful sailing nation, having won 58 medals, including 28 golds, and will be represented in all of the ten classes.