2024 Paris Olympic Games: Christchurch’s Emma Wilson wins silver at iQFOiL Paris test event
Christchurch’s Emma Wilson scooped silver for Great Britain at the Paris 2024 test event – a promising sign just one year from next summer’s Games.
The delighted Wilson, who won windsurfing bronze at the last Olympics, took on the world’s best in Marseille, the host city for the Paris 2024 sailing competition.
She finished second silver in the foiling iQFOiL class, which is due to make its Olympic debut next summer.
The 24-year-old was in top form throughout, taking third-place in the opening race before leading from start to finish to win the second.
The former youth world champion came from behind to win the third before a dominant display in a victorious fourth race.
With three further victories, a second and a third, she qualified for the semi-final which, after a good start, she led through all five marks before beating the Netherlands’ Sara Wennekes.
In the three-person medal race finale, Isreal’s Sharon Kantor recovered from a three-second deficit at the first mark to win by a narrow 18-second margin, with Wilson almost a minute ahead of third-placed Wennekes.
After the event, she said: “It was a big old week that had many crashes, but I’m pretty happy with the way I sailed and approached the whole thing.
“Wearing the yellow leader’s jersey all week was pretty nice, but at the end of the day, Sharon Kantor was better in the medal race today.
“A great week of tight racing, with lots to think about and work on, but I’m enjoying it and having fun.
“A huge thanks to my coach Sam Ross, my family and British Sailing for helping me. Grateful to be surrounded by such a great group of people.
“Now, time to sleep!”
The eight-day regatta was the first of four test events run by Paris 2024 organisers to fine-tune their processes – and for the athletes, it was a dress rehearsal for the games, which will see just one entry per nation in each of the 10 classes.
It was also a key performance indicator in the run-up to Paris 2024, where Britain will aim to maintain its title as the world’s most successful Olympic sailing nation.
Marseille threw plenty of conditions at the sailors over the week, from light, fickle winds to Provence’s famous mistral breeze.
Combined with temperatures of up to 37C, it made for tricky racing conditions but provided a helpful insight into what Tokyo 2020 medallist Wilson may face next summer.
Wilson will have little time to rest and recuperate before heading to the Sailing World Championships in The Hague, Netherlands.
More than 60 British Sailing Team athletes will be among 1,400 sailors from across the globe expected to attend.
The regatta is a once-a-cycle event where the world championship titles for all ten Olympic classes are up for grabs.
Follow her progress on Facebook at ‘Emma Wilson Windsurfing’, or follow the British Sailing Team on social media at @britishsailing