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Christchurch windsurfer Emma Wilson guaranteed a medal at Tokyo 2020 Olympics

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CHRISTCHURCH windsurfer Emma Wilson, the youngest member of the UK sailing team, has guaranteed herself an Olympic podium finish at her first games.

Wilson, who currently sits in second place, stormed into gold medal position with two wins on the third day of racing at the Tokyo Olympics, but China’s Yunxiu Lu rattled off three excellent races this morning (Thursday) to take a four-point lead, with France’s Charline Picon in third on 36 points.

Emma Wilson is in second place going into Saturday's medal race (Photo: Sailing Energy/World Sailing)
Emma Wilson is in second place going into Saturday's medal race (Photo: Sailing Energy/World Sailing)

On Saturday, the Olympic RS:X Women’s medal race will crown one of the current top three, with world number two, Marta Maggetti from Italy, outside contention in fourth place.

Wilson said: “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. My coach told me on the rib, and it’s an amazing feeling. I’ve watched the Olympics since I was a little kid, and it’s always been a dream. And finally, I haven’t come fourth as well, which is so good because I’m sick of it.

“I’m super happy. One more race I can just give everything for and see what can happen.”

After suffering a false start on the previous day of racing, the RS:X European Championships bronze and silver medal winner, who likes to lead from the front, perhaps overcompensated going round the first timed mark in race 10 in ninth place. However, she eventually climbed back to take sixth.

The number four ranked windsurfer in the world made a better start to race 11 to lead at every mark except one as she stormed to a 26-second win.

The final race of the day saw Wilson finish fifth place after another tricky start.

Wilson added: “I had really good speed the last few days, and that was really good. I have to say thank you to the lads in Weymouth who’ve trained with me. They all helped me so much. It’s an amazing feeling.

“I want to ring my brother as well because he has been pushing me since I was a little kid as well. That’s gonna be cool.

“I kept my cool when it was tight. Obviously, today was harder than any other day because I had to think more about the other people, but I think I’m really proud of how I’ve approached the whole event.”

Wilson follows in her mother’s footsteps, Penny, who competed at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games, also in windsurfing.

Wilson has enjoyed success in Japan 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.

Wilson will take to the water again for the double points medal race on Saturday.

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