Olympic champion Mills eyeing glory in Denmark

Olympic champion Mills eyeing glory in Denmark

24 July 2018 / 11:59

With the opening ceremony of Tokyo 2020 little more than two years away, Hannah Mills now knows the date of her first stab at Olympic sailing qualification.

The 30-year-old, who won women's 470 gold alongside Saskia Clark at the Rio 2016 games, heads up the 66-strong Great Britain squad named for the 2018 World Championships in August.

Racing in Aarhus, Denmark, will take place between August 2-12, providing the first opportunity for crews to book their berths in Tokyo, where Mills, who also picked up a silver medal at London 2012, will be partnered by Eilidh McIntyre.

All 10 Olympic classes will be in action in Denmark and Great Britain's line-up is set to be brimming with top-class talent, with reigning 49er world champions Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell included, along with foiling Nacra 17 world champion Ben Saxton and new crewmate Nicola Boniface.

In the men's 470, London 2012 silver medallist Luke Patience sails with Chris Grube while in Laser Standard, two-time world champion Nick Thompson and European silver medallist Michael Beckett team up with Elliot Hanson.

In the 49er FX, European bronze medallists Sophie Weguelin and Sophie Ainsworth will race alongside Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey.

European Finn class champion Ed Wright is also in the squad while Beijing 2008 bronze medallist Bryony Shaw will be the British team's opening ceremony flagbearer.

"The 2018 Sailing World Championships marks the start of our main run into the Tokyo 2020 Olympics," said Mark Robinson, the Royal Yachting Association’s Olympic performance manager.

"We have an immense depth of talent, including many Olympic, World and European champions competing, but also many up-and-coming sailors, who I'm sure will make their mark in Aarhus, so we are in a strong position at this point in the Olympic cycle.

"With the first round of country Olympic qualification places on the line, this is an important event for Great Britain to qualify all 10 classes so that we can move onto perfecting our skills and processes over the coming two years to ultimately peak at the Games in Japan."

Sportsbeat 2018