Alison Young seeks edge over Tokyo rivals as training resumes

Tokyo-bound sailor Alison Young has acknowledged her frustration at having to wait an extra 12 months for a third crack at realising her Olympic goals.

But having already secured selection for what will be her third Olympics, Young is currently making the most of her return to the waves after an easing of coronavirus rules.

The British sailing team was one of the fist elite sports bodies allowed to resume activities on a recreational basis last week, and can now also benefit from socially-distanced coaching.

For Young the experience could be vital as she looks to gain a vital edge over her competitors and make up for her disappointing eighth place finish in Rio in 2016.

Alison Young Feature – Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy
Alison Young during Laser Radial dingy practice at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

Young, who competes in the solo Laser Radial class, told the PA news agency: “When you look out of the window every day and it another cracking day for boating it is very hard, but you have to keep a perspective with what’s going on.

“This period gives you a chance to work on visualisation and technique and continue to develop, and hopefully to use the time more effectively than your competitors.”

Young became the first British woman to win an Olympic-class world title in the build-up to Rio, and also secured a silver medal in the test event, before a broken ankle hindered her progress and she finished eighth.

She added: “The build-up to Rio was not ideal but it was disappointing, and it is about learning and evolving from that.

“I feel physically and mentally far stronger for Tokyo, and I’m part of the strongest British sailing team that I can remember. I think it can only continue to improve over the extra 12 months.

“I feel a bit rusty at the moment, but I’ve been doing a lot of fitness work and it’s about translating that into boat-fitness. It feels a little bit like no-man’s-land, but it’s just about waiting for news of what’s going to happen next.”

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