Rio 2016: Eight sailors named in Team GB Rio Olympic squad

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Shaw and Scott 'honoured' to be selected for the Olympic squad

World champion Giles Scott is among eight British sailors who are the first to be selected for the Rio Olympic Team GB squad.

He will compete in the Finn class which was dominated by Sir Ben Ainslie, who retired from Olympic sailing after his fourth gold came at London 2012.

"It's huge honour to be going [to the Olympics]," Scott said.

Saskia Clark and Hannah Mills - 470 Olympic silver medallists - are also included, as is windsurfer Bryony Shaw.

Luke Patience won silver three years ago alongside Stuart Bithell, who now competes in the 49er class, so will team up with two-time world champion Elliot Willis in the 470 men's event.

Nick Thompson, the 2015 Laser world champion, earns his first Team GB call-up, while London 2012 Olympian Alison Young returns in the Laser Radial.

Selection for the 49er Men, 49er FX Women, RS:X Men and Nacra 17 classes - which were all qualified through results at the 2014 World Championships - are still on-going.

Ruling the waves
British sailors have won 55 medals - including 26 golds - since sailing made its debut at Paris 1900, with Team GB topping the overall Olympic sailing medal table.

Can the British sailors win medals in Rio?

British sailors secured five medals at London 2012 - more than any other nation - while they have also topped the standings in each of the last three Olympics.

The eight athletes selected so far for Rio have won four Olympic medals and seven World Championship titles.

"These eight athletes have displayed fantastic performances during our qualification period," Team GB sailing team leader Stephen Park said.

"They have proven they have what it takes to win medals for the United Kingdom at the highest level, and their selections today allow them good time to focus on preparing for the challenging sailing venue that Rio undoubtedly is."

Park has already said the team are taking supplements to stop them getting ill from contaminated sea water in Brazil.

Will Team GB miss Sir Ben Ainslie?

Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark
Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark are looking to improve on their silver medal from the 2012 Olympics

It is the first British summer Olympic team since 1992 not to feature Ainslie, with the legendary sailor edging out Scott for GB's sole place in the Finn class at London 2012.

Dorset-born Scott, 28, is undefeated in two years and is one of Britain's strongest gold medal prospects for the Rio Olympics.

"I have been trying to get to the Games for a long time," said Scott, who won the Olympic test event last month.

"It's something that always seemed miles out of reach, a bit of a dream, but [now] clearly I want more from it than just to say I went."

Mills and Clark have won medals at each of the two Rio Olympic test events and are confident of success in 2016 despite missing out on gold in those competitions and the last Games.

"We're a much, much stronger team [than at London 2012]," Mills said.

Team-mate Clark added: "We have learnt a lot about the Rio venue and are improving at a faster rate than anyone we are sailing against."

Who else has qualified for Team GB?

London 2012 silver medal-winning modern pentathlete Samantha Murray has attained a named place, as have team-mates Kate French and Joe Choong and open water swimmer Jack Burnell.

Jack Burnell
Jack Burnell secured his Rio place in July

However, their places will only be confirmed after their respective national governing bodies nominate them next year and the British Olympic Association [BOA] ratifies their selection - which is expected to be in 2016.

ParalympicsGB named London 2012 2.4mR keelboat gold medallist Helena Lucas as their first official team member back in April.

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