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Page last updated at 12:30 GMT, Thursday, 3 April 2008 13:30 UK

Clark wins final GB sailing place

Competitors at a test event in Qingdao
Races will take place in Qingdao, which has already hosted Olympic test events

Penny Clark has been picked to take the final place in Great Britain's sailing squad for the Beijing Olympics.

The Laser Radial sailor looked to have missed out when she came only seventh in last month's world championships behind team-mate Andrea Brewster.

But Clark, ranked 13th in the world, got the nod from the selectors.

"It's just another hurdle towards the end goal, which has always been to get on that podium at the Olympic Games," said the 32-year-old.

Places in the 11-class squad were also confirmed for the five boats given provisional selection earlier in the year.

Nick Dempsey (RS:X Men), Bryony Shaw (RS:X Women), Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield (470 Men), Christina Bassadone and Saskia Clark (470 Women) and Leigh McMillan and Will Howden (Tornado) complete the selections.

They will join Ben Ainslie (Finn), Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson (Yngling), Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes (49er), Paul Goodison (Laser) and Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (Star) in Qingdao.

The sailing team is the first British line-up to be decided for this summer's Games.

Chris Atkins, chairman of the Royal Yachting Association selection committee said: "The sailors are all proven performers on the world stage and their inclusion will put us in the best possible shape to achieve our target of three medals in Qingdao this summer."

Stephen Park, the RYA Olympic manager, added: "The clock is ticking ever faster now as we enter the final phase of our Games preparations.

Learning how to sail under pressure and still delivering a result at the worlds has shown that I can carry it off

Penny Clark

"The team as a whole is focusing fully on delivering the goods in China, where we hope we can do the nation proud once again."

Rogers said that the team's success in the last two Olympics had raised expectations and added that the target of three medals in Beijing was "realistic".

"While there is the potential for a lot of medals, if I was a gambling man I would bet on three in an honest appraisal of our chances," he said.

"As a team we know it is not going to be easy. British success at recent events means expectations are raised and that may be misleading.

"No-one ever counts their chickens especially at a venue like Qingdao."

606: OLYMPIC DEBATE

Meanwhile, Clark hopes her fluctuating fortunes in New Zealand will stand her in good stead when it comes to the rigours of Olympic competition.

"I think the trials process for us has been really important preparation for China, and has actually been a good experience," she said.

"There was lots of pressure on me heading into the worlds as I felt the trials were mine to lose.

"Learning how to sail under pressure and still delivering a result at the worlds has shown that I can carry it off - and working with the girls and training as a squad has played a big part in that."


Great Britain 2008 Olympic team:

Laser Radial (women's one person dinghy)
Penny Clark

RS:X Men (men's windsurfer)
Nick Dempsey

RS:X Women (women's windsurfer)
Bryony Shaw

470 Men (men's two person dinghy)
Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield

470 Women (women's two person dinghy)
Christina Bassadone and Saskia Clark

Tornado (multihull)
Leigh McMillan and Will Howden

Finn class (heavyweight dinghy)
Ben Ainslie

Yngling class (women's keelboat)
Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson

49er class (skiff)
Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes

Laser class (men's one person dinghy)
Paul Goodison

Star class (men's keelboat)
Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson




see also
Olympic sailing fears dismissed
05 Feb 08 |  Sailing
Sailors face Chinese challenge
05 Feb 08 |  Sailing
Asher and Willis take 470 gold
30 Jan 08 |  Sailing
Ainslie seals fifth world title
29 Jan 08 |  Sailing
Olympic sailors take World silver
09 Jan 08 |  Olympics
Ainslie among first Olympic picks
08 Jan 08 |  Olympics
Team GB for Beijing
29 Nov 07 |  Team GB
Start sailing
14 Oct 05 |  Sailing


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