Three-time Olympic windsurfer Bryony Shaw will miss out on the early stages of the Tokyo 2020 cycle – but will be bringing a potential future star into the world as she welcomes her first child in the summer.
In a statement released by British Sailing announcing the crews for the upcoming Olympiad, Shaw – who won bronze at Beijing 2008 – has announced she and partner, US sailor Brad Funk, are expecting a baby in June.
The 33-year-old, a three-time World and European medallist in the RS:X, is hoping to return to action towards the end of the year, giving her plenty of time to mount her quest for a second Olympic medal.
“Brad and I are so excited to be expecting our first baby!” she said. “We’re all doing really well and the timing is perfect in that it will hopefully allow me a great run-in to Tokyo.
“Obviously there will be a lot to get to grips with once the baby arrives, but I have great support and I believe I still have what it takes to compete at the highest level.
“There’s a fantastic team at the British Sailing Team who can help keep me in shape and get me back up to fitness when the time is right.
“Countless other mums pursue successful careers, including in sport, and I’m really looking forward to that challenge.”
Elsewhere in the squad, multi-Olympic medallists Nick Dempsey and Saskia Clark will be absent from the RYA’s World Class Programme for the first time since 1998 and 2001 respectively after calling time on their Olympic careers.
Clark’s gold-medal winning helm in the 470 class Hannah Mills is enjoying a new challenge competing in the 49erFX women’s skiff, with a view to forming a permanent partnership later in the year.
In the same class, Rio Olympians Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth have formed new partnerships, with Dobson teaming up with Saskia Tidey, and Ainsworth with Kate Macgregor.
World champions Nick Thompson and Alison Young will continue their pursuit for further glory in the Laser and Laser Radial events, while Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell have joined forces in the 49er.
Olympic champion Giles Scott is taking a sabbatical from the Finn to focus on this year’s America’s Cup.
“Our athletes have really hit the ground running in 2017,” said RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park.
“We’ve just concluded our first winter training camp in Cadiz and a number of sailors are about to compete at their first Sailing World Cup regatta of the year out in Miami.
“The first year of the Olympic cycle is always an exciting one with new teams looking to establish themselves and some of the younger talents who’ve been knocking at the door aiming to show their own intentions towards the next Games.
“It’ll be fascinating to see what unfolds.”
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