Great Britain sailor Willis to miss Olympics due to cancer


Great Britain's 470-class Olympic Games sailor Elliot Willis will miss the 2016 Olympic Games having undergone treatment for bowel cancer.

The 32-year-old - diagnosed with the illness in December - and team-mate Luke Patience have been deselected for the Games in Rio de Janeiro following a joint-decision by the British Olympic Association and Royal Yachting Association (RYA).

The RYA confirmed the decision was made as Willis' treatment meant the pair had been "unable to follow the combined training programme required to maximise their chances of success in Rio".

Stephen Park, RYA Olympic manager and Team GB sailing team leader, said: "The circumstances surrounding the deselection of Luke and Elliot are obviously disappointing for everyone.

"However, as a team we knew we would be set a number of challenges in this journey to Rio 2016 and this is just one we have to deal with along the road.

"Hopefully this doesn't mark the end of Elliot's Olympic journey and we look forward to seeing him back in the boat soon."

Patience still intends to compete in Brazil alongside Chris Grube.

"Clearly Elliot's situation is one neither of us foresaw when we embarked on our campaign together and I'm sad that we won't be able to compete together in Rio this summer," he added. "The thoughts of all the team continue to be with Elliot in his ongoing recovery.

"For me, it's absolutely the right thing to do to see through the work Elliot and I started out together. I'm aiming to re-qualify for Rio with Chris and do the best job we can to bring home a medal."