Park eager to secure Rio quota places at World Championships

10 September 2014 / 09:41

While the Road to Rio might have only just got going, British Sailing team manager Stephen Park is not about to leave anything to chance, urging his Olympic hopefuls to secure Team GB a spot in Brazil at the first time of asking at this month’s ISAF Sailing World Championships.

The great and the good of world sailing will descend on Santander as of September 12 to battle it out for titles across the ten differing classes.

But the competition also provides the first opportunity for nations to qualify their quota spots in each of the ten Olympic classes, with 50 per cent of the country berths up for grabs at this first hurdle in the race for Rio 2016.

And Park is keen for his British charges to start as they mean to go on.

“From a British perspective we would hope that we would qualify for the Olympic Games in each one of those ten events at this first opportunity, and effectively just put that to bed for this Olympic cycle,” Park said.

“Then we can concentrate on the individual competitions and of course ultimately who Great Britain will select to sail as part of Team GB at the 2016 Olympic Games.

“Across the ten classes we are looking to try and win four medals or more. I think following our performances in Rio last month where we did manage to get people on the podium in seven out of the ten events, we’re feeling fairly confident going into this event.  

“But we’re also conscious that there’s a significant greater size of fleet and depth of talent at this than from the test event. 

“It’s a completely different venue, so we can’t expect things to go all our own way, and the competition will be tough as every nation is desperate to try and secure those early slots for the Olympic Games. 

“Hopefully we’ll have some good competition and we’ll be in the running in each one of those ten events when we get towards the business end of the event at the end of next week.”

© Sportsbeat 2014