Park eyes Paralympic sailing medal
Great Britain's sailors are expected to win a first Paralympic medal
Team leader Stephen Park is confident Great Britain's Paralympic sailors will win their first ever medal at London 2012.
While Team GB is the most successful nation in Olympic sailing history, their Paralympic counterparts have yet to win a medal since the sport's introduction in 2000.
That looks set to change this summer with Great Britain boasting a wealth of experience, including four-time world champions Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell in the SKUD class.
The Sonar crew of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Stephen Thomas boast two world championships themselves, while Helena Lucas - shortlisted for the 2006 ISAF World Sailor of the Year - will compete in the 2.4mR.
All three boats represented ParalympicsGB in Beijing four years ago but failed to reach the podium - something sailing chief Park expects them to make amends for this summer.
"Beijing was a disappointment for all concerned," the RYA chief said. "All the sailors felt that they didn't give their best and of course as it happens all three teams are returning Paralympians.
"They are all very determined to ensure they make up for the disappointing performances in 2008. Hopefully 2012 will bring Great Britain's first ever Paralympic sailing medal.
"We do have three realistic medal opportunities from the three events. We did medal in two of those events at the World Championships earlier this year and finished fourth in the third event. Indeed in the 2011 events the same three boats actually medalled.
"We've been consistent with certainly getting two out of the three boats onto the podium on a regular basis, it just isn't always the same two.
"As well all know, that is the nature of the sport. It is about who performs well on the day. They have all got the ability if they sail to their potential so hopefully that will see us winning our first ever Paralympic medal."
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