Market Harborough sailor Dylan Fletcher is celebrating after being named in Great Britain’s squad for the Rio Olympics this summer.
Victory in the medal race at a World Cup regatta in Hyeres at the weekend might just have tipped the balance in favour of Fletcher and his partner Alain Sign after a tough selection battle.
After several months of competition in a tight 49er class. Team GB finally announced today (Wednesday) that Fletcher and Sign were their choice.
A jubilant Fletcher said: “To be honest, I don’t think it has really sunk in yet.
“We got the call late last night and we were a bit tired after quite a long drive but I just can’t get over how amazing it feels and super excited to be going out there and representing Team GB. It’s a dream come true.
“We didn’t make the selector’s lives easy, it was super tight, especially with Pinky [John Pink] and Stu [Stuart Bithell] we are really good mates with them.
“We both pushed each other to the end and we are just really happy that we came out on top.
“Alain and I have been sailing together for nearly ten years now so it’s amazing.
“We are best mates, so to be going to the Olympic Games with him is really special.
“We have worked so hard for this.
“He is the best crew in the world and when we are on our day we are untouchable so hopefully we can bring that to the Games and enjoy it and have a good week.”
Sign added: “It’s just a really awesome experience to be able to represent our country in sailing, just really emotional.
“We definitely haven’t made it easy for the selectors to pick a boat, so we are really happy to come out on top.
“Through the whole cycle we have been kind of battling it out [with the other British teams], finishing next to each other.
“Dylan and I have known each other since I was 16 and come through a long journey, through lots of highs and lows so to come out on top [in Rio] would be an amazing experience and top it all off.”
Stephen Park, Team GB Sailing team leader and RYA Olympic manager said: “We’re delighted and proud to complete our Olympic Games line-up for Rio today, and congratulate Dylan and Alain on their selections for Team GB.
“Finalising the Games team is always an exciting moment and allows us to now really focus on the final run-in and what it takes to win medals in the extremely challenging environment that Rio presents.
“Dylan and Alain have come through a particularly close selection battle with team-mates John Pink and Stuart Bithell and the fast progressing pairing of James Peters and Fynn Sterritt in the 49er class, but will go into their first Games full of passion and enthusiasm, and with the confidence of being World Championship medalists in the Olympic year.”
Make sure you get next week’s Harborough Mail for full reaction to Dylan Fletcher’s Olympic selection