Christchurch's Emma Wilson sits second in Tokyo 2020 Olympics
CHRISTCHURCH windsurfer Emma Wilson produced a fantastic second day at the Tokyo Olympics to put herself in silver medal position after races this morning (Monday).
Going into the races, 22-year-old Wilson was fourth overall, but first, fourth and second-place finishes saw her shoot up the RS:X fleet standings with only France's Charline Picon ahead of her.
Wilson, the youngest member of the UK sailing team, opened with fifth in her opening race, second in the next heat and sixth in race three on a hot and humid Sunday afternoon off Enoshima, where light wind conditions and a sloppy sea made it hard work.
Wilson said: "It was a really good day, really happy. It was a lot more fun and a bit more like what we are used to back home, but I have prepared for everything.
"The start was really important. I had some good starts, and that really helped me, and I just kept going fast."
The world number four windsurfer follows in her mother's footsteps, Penny, who competed at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games, also in windsurfing.
Wilson added: "It's my first Olympics, and I am doing really well. I'm happy. We last raced in April, and then I went back home to train in Weymouth with my friend, the Danish girl, and we are doing pretty well. We have a bit of a laugh and a joke before the races, and it's really nice.
"It was pretty shifty the wind from the land, so that was always going to be tricky. But, I had good starts, and I just had to try and do what I do best and trust myself."
Japan has brought success for Wilson in the past after she finished fourth in an Olympic testing event to take fifth in the RS:X World Cup in 2019.
Wilson's first taste of a world title was at the age of just 12 when she took the U15 Techno 293 World Championship. After moving to the Olympic class, Wilson's success continued with the RS:X Youth Worlds title in 2014.
After just missing out on the Youth Worlds title to future Rio 2016 bronze medallist Russia's Stefania Elfutina in 2015, Wilson would show her drive to succeed coming back to win consecutive Youth Worlds golds in 2016 and 2017.
This year's RS:X competition will be the class's final Olympic Games after World Sailing announced that governing bodies should make the switch from the traditional RS:X to foiling in preparation for Paris 2024.
Foiling refers to the use of hydrofoils attached to the hull of fast boats, which provides additional lift at planing speeds, which is often enough to lift the hull out of the water.
Wilson will take to the water again on Wednesday for races seven to nine, and then Thursday for races 10 to 12. The medal race will be on Saturday.