Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik 2018 Clearance LEADERBOARD

Britain books Tokyo 2020 berths as Sailing World Championships Aarhus concludes

by Will Carson, RYA 12 Aug 17:20 BST 2-12 August 2018

Great Britain has become the first and only nation to win spots in all ten Olympic sailing classes for Tokyo 2020 following strong performances at the 2018 Sailing World Championships.

The regatta in Aarhus, Denmark, was the first opportunity for nations to book their places at the upcoming Olympic Games, which begins in just under two years.

Forty percent of the total quota of places for Tokyo 2020 were up for grabs at the quadrennial regatta, held in Aarhus, Denmark, which concluded on Sunday.

British Sailing Team athletes met the qualification criteria in every class, guaranteeing Britain the opportunity to defend its position at the top of the Olympic sailing medal table.

No other nation has qualified to compete in every event. They will have to earn their places at other qualification events over the coming year.

"In terms of guaranteeing that British sailors will be on the start line of every sailing event at Tokyo 2020, it's job done," said British Sailing Team boss Mark Robinson.

"The 2018 Sailing World Championships has been a great success for the British Sailing Team with our sailors making sure the nation is qualified in all ten classes – something no other country managed.

"Britain is the most successful Olympic sailing nation of all time and has topped the sailing medal table in four of the last five Games.

"With two years to go until Tokyo 2020, we can now turn our attention to perfecting our skills and processes so that we peak just at the right time."

The Sailing World Championships finished with teenage windsurfing sensation Emma Wilson narrowly missing out on her first senior world championships medal in the women's RS:X.

Wilson, 19, from Christchurch, went into the double-points medal race in fourth overall but a fantastic start saw her lead until the halfway mark – enough to shoot her onto the podium.

The three-time youth world champion was then overhauled by Rio 2016 gold medallist Charline Picon of France, but more importantly her closest rival Yunxiu Lu of China moved up to seventh to jump back into third overall.

Wilson crossed the line in third behind Picon and China's Hongmei Shi, while Lu held onto seventh to keep the Brit off the podium by three points.

"I'm happy and disappointed all at the same time," said Wilson. "To finish fourth overall when I was winning the medal race hurts a little bit but I need to be happy with coming fourth in the world.

"I'd have easily taken that if someone had said it's where I'd finish before the regatta. I gave it everything in every single race so I have no regrets. I'll keep training hard, racing hard and giving 100 per cent, and that's all I can do."

In the men's competition, Britain's Kieran Holmes-Martin rounded off his world championship bid with victory in the medal race but also ending the regatta in fourth overall.

"It was really tricky out there - I knew I had to go out there and win the race and for the guys in front of me to have a bad race," said the 23-year-old from Cheadle, Staffs.

"I won, but unfortunately they did just enough to keep me off the podium. I'm happy with fourth in the world."

Both Wilson's and Holmes-Martin's fourth-place finishes easily secure a nation place for Great Britain in the men's and women's windsurfing at Tokyo 2020.

The final medal race of the regatta was set to feature the mixed multihull Nacra 17 class, but it was called off after the wind disappeared.

As such, John Gimson and Anna Burnet finished eighth overall, with Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface in tenth.

British sailors finished in the top ten in every class at the regatta, which featured more than 1,400 competitors from over 90 nations.

Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre (top) won the first medal, securing bronze in the women's 470 on Thursday, before Sophie Weguelin and Sophie Ainsworth matched it in the 49er FX class on Saturday.

The British Sailing Team will now look to solidify their position at the top of the world rankings at the first Olympic test event held at the Tokyo 2020 sailing venue Enoshima from September 9 to 16.

Full results from the regatta can be found here.

Related Articles

British Sailing Team set at Para Sailing Worlds
Fully focused on the task in Sheboygan Six sailors will be flying the Great Britain flag when racing at the Para Sailing World Championships gets underway at Sail Sheboygan, USA on Tuesday (18 September). Posted on 18 Sep
Trio of medals for British Team at Tokyo 2020 test
Giles Scott and Ed Wright scoop silver and bronze Finn medals Rio 2016 gold medallist Scott and European champion Wright started the final day of World Cup Series Enoshima in second and third, just a handful of points behind overnight leader Nicholas Heiner. Posted on 16 Sep
British Team at World Cup Series Enoshima day 5
Peters and Sterritt seal victory as Hanson wraps it up early James Peters and Fynn Sterritt rounded off a rollercoaster year with victory in the 49er class at World Cup Series Enoshima while Elliot Hanson cleaned up in the Laser class with a day to spare. Posted on 15 Sep
British Team at World Cup Series Enoshima day 4
Brits poised to strike as World Cup Series Enoshima ramps up Britain's elite sailors will get a shot at bringing home medals in four classes on Saturday as the first major regatta to be held at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic sailing venue reaches its peak. Posted on 14 Sep
British Team at World Cup Series Enoshima day 3
Laser quest! Brits fill podium as Tokyo 2020 venue turns tricky Britain's Laser sailors sent a clear message to their rivals on Thursday as they filled the podium places in the only race of World Cup Series Enoshima day three. Posted on 13 Sep
British Team at World Cup Series Enoshima day 2
Brits top in four classes as Tokyo test continues Nineteen-year-old windsurfer Emma Wilson jumped into the bronze medal position at the halfway stage of the RS:X competition on the back of a trio of top ten results including a race win. Posted on 12 Sep
British Team at World Cup Series Enoshima day 1
GBR 49er sailors shoot out of the blocks on the opening day The men's high performance skiff class kicked off six days of action across the ten Olympic classes – and Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell made their intentions clear by streaking to victory in the regatta's very first race. Posted on 11 Sep
British sailors descend on Tokyo 2020 venue
Rio 2016 gold medallist Giles Scott will make his return to the Olympic circuit Scott will be among a 38-strong British Sailing Team contingent to take on the world's best when racing begins on the waters that will host the next Olympic Games on Tuesday Posted on 10 Sep
Young windsurfers picked for Youth Olympics squad
Islay Watson and Finn Hawkins have been named in Team GB The pair will be among 42 British athletes aged between 14 and 18 who will compete in 17 sports over 12 days of action. They will both race in the Techno 293 Plus windsurfing class having impressed selectors with a string of top results this season. Posted on 6 Sep
Female athletes sought for kiteboarding programme
The team has joined forces with the British Kitesports Association World Sailing, the global governing body for sailing, confirmed at its mid-year meeting that there would be a mixed kite event put forward to the International Olympic Committee for inclusion at the Paris 2024 Olympics. Posted on 5 Sep