Itchenor duo gain Team GB Rio calls

Itchenor Sailing Club's Ben Saxton has been selected for Team GB
Itchenor Sailing Club's Ben Saxton has been selected for Team GB
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Itchenor Sailing Club pair Sophie Ainsworth and Ben Saxton have been selected to compete for Team GB at this year’s Rio Olympics.

Long-standing member Ainsworth and her partner Charlotte Dobson, who finished fifth at the 2015 World Championships, will make their Olympic debuts in the 49erFX.

Ainsworth, 26, spoke of her delight after hearing the news.

She said: “I was absolutely ecstatic when we got the phone call to say we were going to the Olympics.

“There is a lot of work to do between now and then, we have a lot of goals that we need to work on so that we are really confident going into it.

“The Olympics only happen once every four years so it’s really special to us and we just want to go in as confident as we can so we can perform on that day.”

Another Itchenor member Saxton will also be part of Team GB in Rio.

Saxton and his partner Nicola Graves are the current European champions in the Nacra 17 mixed multihull event, with the competition being contested for the first time in an Olympics in 2016.

Saxton and Groves started their Olympic trail with wins in the Sailing World Cup last year, before more success at the European Championships in Barcelona.

The pair are currently ranked fifth in the world, while being the best Great British boat.

Saxton, 25, admitted he can’t wait for Rio now he has been selected to compete.

He said: “I’m pretty excited to do two things towards the games, one is get a medal for Nic and me, and the other is to support the rest of the sailing team as much as possible.”

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