G4S 49ers selected for Team GB
The British sailing line-up for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games has been completed today (Wednesday 9 May) with the announcement of sailor selections in the Laser Radial, 49er and 2.4mR events.
G4S 49ers Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes gained their second Olympic Games call-up in the 49er class.
The British Olympic Association has also confirmed the RYA’s nominations of Alison Young, who will make her Olympic debut in the Laser Radial event, while Helena Lucas joins the Paralympics GB ranks in the one-person 2.4mR event.
These four sailors complete the full complement of 16 sailors to compete across ten events on the Olympic sailing programme (29 July-11 August), and six sailors across three events at the Paralympic sailing competition (1-6 September), which will be held in Weymouth and Portland, where the final British selections were unveiled today.
Stevie and Ben are thrilled to count themselves among the final London 2012 Olympic sailing line-up. Stevie said: “We’re really happy of course - it’s a massive honour to be selected to represent Great Britain at the Olympic Games, and even more so for a home Olympics.
“It does feel very different this time to four years ago – we were one of the first teams to be selected for Beijing and back then we felt like we kicked the doors down and left the selectors no scope to do anything other than select us. That led to a lot of expectation going into the Games and probably pressure on ourselves that we didn’t realise at the time was there.
“This time around the things have been very different – the trials have been a lot closer but we always believed that we were the best team to deliver gold in Weymouth in 2012 and our track record in the venue over recent years supports that. We’ve learnt a lot about our sailing, about the Olympics and about ourselves since Beijing which we feel will put us in much better place to do the business at these Games.”
His teammate Ben Rhodes added: “We’re massively psyched – it’s a privilege to be selected for Team GB and for us it’s a huge chance to try and put right the mistakes we made in China. That’s what we’ve been motivated by for the past four years – we don’t want to go through that disappointment again.
“Selection at this stage is fantastic. We have a huge level of competition in the British 49er fleet, but gaining selection now will allow us to take advantage of the all opportunities that we have of it being a home Games. We’ve always carried out our programme and the things we need to work on as though we had been selected – I think that’s the only way you can really go about it so for us while selection is great, it’s still business as usual – nothing changes.”
Stephen Park, RYA Olympic Manager and Sailing Team Leader for the 2012 Games said: “Stevie and Ben are obviously past Olympians and they have been World Championship medallists. They were unfortunate at the World Championship in Perth that through injury they weren’t able to take part.
They had a great Sail for Gold Regatta on the Olympic field last summer where they medalled, and they just missed out on the medals at the Olympic Test Event.
We’re confident that with the experience they’ve got and a home venue track record, they’ll be able to pull it all together and really deliver when it counts.
“We’ve now got 13 teams in the 13 events – Olympic and Paralympic – and as we go into the Games, I can honestly say hand on heart that we’ve got people who’ve got potential to medal in every single event – we’ve never had that before. “
Team GB sailors for 2012:
Ben Ainslie – Finn
Paul Goodison – Laser
Alison Young – Laser Radial
Bryony Shaw – RS:X Women
Nick Dempsey – RS:X Men
Hannah Mills & Saskia Clark – 470 Women
Luke Patience & Stuart Bithell – 470 Men
Stevie Morrison & Ben Rhodes – 49er
Iain Percy & Andrew Simpson – Star
Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush & Kate Macgregor – Women’s Match Racing
ParalympicsGB sailors for 2012:
Helena Lucas – 2.4mR
Alexandra Rickham & Niki Birrell – SKUD
John Robertson, Hannah Stodel & Steve Thomas – Sonar