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Team GB reveals first athletes for Paris 2024

by British Sailing Team 12 Oct 2023 17:08 BST
Team GB reveals first athletes for Paris 2024 © British Sailing Team

Olympic medallists Emma Wilson, John Gimson and Anna Burnet are among ten sailors named today by the British Olympic Association (BOA) as the first Team GB athletes selected for Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The trio headline a new-look group of elite sailors representing seven of the ten Olympic sailing classes, as the team is announced at London's St Pancras Station, home of the Eurostar.

Tokyo 2020 silver medal winners Gimson and Burnet sealed their Paris place with a bronze in the mixed multihull fleet at the Olympic test event in July, followed by the runners-up spot at the World Championships in August.

Wilson also enjoyed a solid summer, with bronze at the iQFOiL European Championships followed up with a silver at the test event in Marseille, the venue for the Paris 2024 sailing competition.

Her selection for Team GB is all the more impressive given she has only been racing the iQFOiL, the foiling windsurfer new for Paris 2024, for two years.

Returning for another tilt at Olympic glory is Saskia Tidey, who with two previous Olympic Games under her belt will be the most experienced member of the sailing team.

Tidey is picked in the women's skiff class alongside crew mate Freya Black, the youngest sailor in the Team GB sailing line-up at just 22 years old.

James Peters and Fynn Sterritt will look to continue Britain's success in the men's skiff on their Olympic debut, following in the footsteps of Tokyo 2020 gold medallists Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell.

Windsurfer Sam Sills earned his place with Team GB after winning the men's iQFOiL class at the illustrious Princess Sofia regatta in Mallorca this year, following it up with a fifth at the Sailing World Championships.

Michael Beckett will pick up the mantle in the men's dinghy and attempt to break Australia's three-Games winning streak in the class.

Meanwhile Ellie Aldridge's historic European title win just two weeks ago secured her place as the sole representative in the women's kite class, the second of the two new sailing disciplines for Paris 2024.

A rich history

Team GB has a rich history of excellence in Olympic sailing, having won 64 medals, including 31 golds, more than any other nation.

Former Team GB athletes Sir Ben Ainslie and Hannah Mills are the most successful male and female Olympic sailors of all time; Ainslie with four golds and a silver, Mills with two golds and a silver.

The sailors selected for Paris 2024 are:

  • John Gimson and Anna Burnet - Mixed Multihull (Nacra 17)
  • James Peters and Fynn Sterritt - Men's Skiff (49er)
  • Freya Black and Saskia Tidey - Women's Skiff (49erFX)
  • Emma Wilson - Women's Windsurfing (iQFOiL)
  • Sam Sills - Men's Windsurfing (iQFOiL)
  • Ellie Aldridge - Women's Kite (Formula Kite)
  • Michael Beckett - Men's Dinghy (ILCA 7)

Mark England, Team GB's Chef de Mission for Paris 2024, said:

"It is exciting to announce the sailors that have been selected to compete in Paris. Team GB has fielded sailors at the Games since 1900 and I am delighted to welcome back to Team GB four Tokyo 2020 Olympians, who bring a great mix of proven Olympic success and six debutants. All the sailors selected know what it takes to medal on the world stage, and I look forward to seeing them set sail on the waters of Marseille in just ten months' time."

Mark Robinson, Team GB Sailing Team Leader and RYA Performance Director, said: "Announcing this amazing group of sailors as the first athletes for Team GB is a real privilege. They are the best of the best and have all rightly earned their spots thanks to some fantastic performances over the past year.

"We have a lot of pressure and expectation on us to maintain our record as the most successful Olympic nation, but I have no doubt that the sailors announced today are the ones who can help us succeed in that challenge in Marseille next summer."

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