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Tokyo-bound windsurfer Emma remains positive despite Olympics delay

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Olympics-bound windsurfer Emma Wilson, from Christchurch (Photo: RYA)
Olympics-bound windsurfer Emma Wilson, from Christchurch (Photo: RYA)

OLYMPICS-bound Christchurch windsurfer Emma Wilson feels the IOC has made the right decision to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to next year.

The 20-year-old was one of the first Team GB athletes to be announced for the Olympics back in October and is due to compete in the RS:X fleet at the Games.

However, in a joint statement last week, the organisers of Tokyo 2020 and the IOC said: “The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating.

“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the World Health Organisation, the IOC president and the prime minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.”

Emma Wilson told the A&T she believes it is the right decision and that she will take advantage of the extra training over the next year. She said: “Obviously it’s pretty big news, but it's the right decision as everyone wants an Olympics where everyone can compete safely.

“It changes a few things, as for the last seven years I have been aiming for 2020, so you try and put everything together to be the best you can for the Olympic year.

“At first I was a bit disappointed, but actually I think it could be a great opportunity for me. I can keep improving for another year, and who knows how much better I could get in a year's time. I think it's quite exciting in a way!”

Wilson continued: “During this period I will do everything I can to keep improving, even if I can’t get on the water. There are lots of fitness stuff I can do, and actually being at home for a period of time is probably not a bad thing for me.”

Mark Robinson, RYA Olympic performance manager and Team GB sailing team leader, said ofthe postponement: “The British sailing team fully supports the IOC’s decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

“It is obviously hugely disappointing for our athletes and staff who have devoted the last four years and often much longer to their dream of representing Team GB at the Olympics.

“However, we all understand the seriousness of the unprecedented global situation and believe the decision to delay the Games is the right one for the sake of the health of athletes, support staff, sports fans and the wider public. A delay will also ensure that competition remains fair.

“Our sailors and support staff remain resilient and incredibly determined to achieve our goals at the Olympic Games. We will do everything in our power to ensure we are ready to perform in Enoshima in 2021.”

After finishing fourth in the RS:X World Championships in Sorrento, Australia, Wilson climbed to third in the world rankings behind Israel’s Katy Spychakov and Netherlands’ Lilian de Geus.

Wilson was pleased with her efforts. She said: "Seeing that I had moved up to third in the world rankings was a pretty cool feeling, especially with everything that’s going on at the moment.

"In February 2016, I was ranked 54th, and now I am ranked third, so I think that's pretty cool. I hope it proves that anything is possible if you really want it!"

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