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Brits at Tokyo 2020 day 7: Wonderful Wilson takes Tokyo windsurf bronze

by Will Carson, RYA 31 Jul 2021 11:16 UTC 25 July - 4 August 2021

Great Britain now has their second female British Olympic windsurfing medallist, after Bryony Shaw's bronze in 2008, as Emma Wilson wins bronze for Team GB in the women's RS:X.

The seventh day of sailing saw a super light SSW sea breeze, around 4-6 knots. Tom Squires finished his Olympic debut in an impressive seventh overall. In a hugely competitive men's RS:X fleet, Squires ended his campaign with a seventh place finish in the medal race.

Dylan Fletcher and Stu Bithell (49er) completed fleet racing in second overall after three top ten race results. They are tied on points with third, and four points off leaders Burling & Tuke (NZL). Monday's medal race has everything on the line. The 49ers and 49erFX now have a rest day before their medal races on Monday.

It was an up-and-down day for Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey to complete 49erFX fleet racing. A scorecard of 15-4-18 means they go into the medal race in fifth, eight points off the podium.

Giles Scott added another race win to his collection and remains top of the Finn fleet with eight out of ten races completed.

John Gimson and Anna Burnet continue to push at the top of the Nacra 17 fleet, sitting second - helped by a win in the final race of the day.

Ali Young is in medal race action tomorrow in the Radial while the 470s return to the water with the Finn and Nacra 17.

RS:X Women - Emma Wilson, 22, from Christchurch, Dorset, said:

"Those were so physical those conditions. I gave it absolutely everything and, in the end, I came third, but still it was amazing to get a medal and I'm super, super happy.

"My tactics were just to give it absolutely everything and there wasn't too much I could do, as it was a three-way battle so on the second lap, I just emptied my body and I got second in the race and came third overall. I've come fourth so many times and it means so much to finally make it to the podium at the Olympics - it's a good time.

"My Mum has been a big influence, but also there's so many other people as well: like my coach Barry and my family, his family, my training partners. I mean, everyone has just given so much and I just have to thank so many people. The medal's not just for me but for everyone else as well.

"Crossing the line was amazing, I just enjoyed the moment and you can tell us three were so close even in the medal race so just to get a medal was amazing. I didn't look back. I knew with the French girl ahead of me, it was whoever beat who, but - second in the medal race - I couldn't have done much more. I'm so tired now.

"I think of course you want to win a gold medal, but I've got many more years to come so I hope I'll be back, but for now I'm just going to enjoy the moment. Not many people get a medal at the Olympics, so I just have to be so grateful and happy.

"I guess I was just so sick of coming fourth, but I knew what that felt like so it couldn't get much worse than that. I just keep smiling, enjoying the moment and I didn't feel too much pressure because just to be at the Olympics is amazing. I'm really proud of the way I approached it.

"I know my Mum didn't enjoy the Olympics, so for me to enjoy it was important. I think that she actually had a lot of pressure as she was triple world champion leading into it and that's always going to be hard, but I was just a little annoying one coming fourth, so I didn't feel that pressure.

"It's just amazing, I'm super happy. It's just three years until the next Olympics, so that's very cool. This winter, windsurfing is out the Olympics, so I have to learn another new category but if I can do that and come back it would be amazing. I do hope to be back, it's going to be weird, but I think the new category will possibly suit me as I'm tall and I think you need to be bigger for the new ones, so that's good for me.

"But for now, I just want to enjoy this, have a rest, and just celebrate this. Now I can go celebrate with the team where we are and I hope some more of the team also get some medals. I'm looking forward to celebrating with them and then when I get home I'll celebrate with my family and friends. I didn't believe I'd be the first person to get a medal but it's cool and I hope everyone else does well too."

RS:X Men - Tom Squires, 27, from Kingston Bagpuize, Oxfordshire, said:

"We had a rest day just before today, I got a lot of reflection and really tried to give it everything. It was my weakest conditions out there and I really, really struggled for pace as well as making a bit too many mistakes on where I went, but I just hope I've done Team GB proud.

"I feel like I've given everything, so I can't be disappointed with how far I've come in such a short space of time really. I really appreciate all the support back home and I've loved pretty much every minute of it, apart from the medal race which sucked a little bit.

"If someone had told me that I'd be in the medal race at the Olympics batting it out for a medal and being in the top ten in the world before I came out, I would've taken that. It just takes a while, because you've got so many emotions from each individual race to put together in your mind.

"In hindsight, I think I can go home and hold my head high as I've not made too much of a mess of it and I've enjoyed it a lot. It's a great opportunity to be here. There are so many stages to get here, I know the grass is always greener but I've loved it.

"I definitely wouldn't be here without the National Lottery players; the funding that that's given to athletes is incredible. It's game changing. I come from a humble background where I don't have the financial support of anything but myself and my parents, so I'm really lucky to have that support. People like me wouldn't be racing at elite level without it.

"The board is now changing to the iQFOiL and I'll probably be on that before you know it. When people say 'are you going on holiday?', my holidays are mostly windsurfing anyway. So I will just be straight back on the board as soon as I get home, where my friends are down in Weymouth windsurfing all the time. It'll just be like normal, hanging out with my mates at home. They're backing me, but it doesn't change how I am with them or anything like that - we're really humble, so I'm going back to normal life really."

Full results and the competition schedule can be found here.

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