Thompson and Young ready for Rio's Olympic challenge

Thompson and Young ready for Rio's Olympic challenge

11 September 2015 / 08:26
Nick Thompson believes next year's Olympic sailing venue will require medallists to show a true range of skills to make the podium.

The recently crowned world Laser champion will make his Olympic debut in Rio after he was named as one of Team GB's first eight athletes on the plane to Brazil.

He won bronze at last year's Olympic test event at the Marina da Glória, where he plans to spend a lot of time in the 11 months before next year's Games.

"The conditions in Rio are really tough, I wouldn’t say it suits any one specific skill set," said Thompson.

"Weymouth was traditionally a bit windier, China was a bit lighter, whereas in Rio I think we’ll see a real mix of conditions, real tough racing. 

"For me personally, I won’t need to make a change in body weight or anything like that, but obviously there’s a lot of refining of skills which will need to be done for the conditions out there.

"Preparations for the Games is full on already. I’ve been out there seven times, for long trips as well not short stints. We’re trying to rack up as much time in the water as possible over there, because it is so critical for our sport.

"There’s obviously a lot more work still to do, so I’m heading out there in December, and again probably another three or four trips before next summer."

Britain won one gold, three silver and four bronze medals in the ten classes at last year's Olympic test event, with Alison Young claiming silver in the Laser radial.

But their performance in this year's test regatta proved how tough it will be, as 19 nations - twice as many as 12 months previously - shared the 30 available medals, with Great Britain claiming one gold and a silver.

"We’ve just come back from a month out in Rio," said Young, who finished fifth at London 2012.

"We are still learning about the venue and we’re heading back out there in December. We want as much time as possible out there to get used to the conditions, and to understand the breeze and the tide out there.
"It’s been a really positive team environment when we’ve been out there the last month or so.  Everyone is working hard and will be pushing hard over the next 11 months. We’ve got a strong team and a strong positive team environment."

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