Rio 2016: Luke Patience secures spot in GB Olympic sailing team

By Jane LewisBBC Scotland
Luke Patience
Luke Patience will compete in his second Olympic Games in Rio this summer

Olympic silver medallist Luke Patience will compete at this summer's Rio Games after re-qualifying with new sailing partner Chris Grube.

His place was in doubt after original partner Elliot Willis was diagnosed with bowel cancer in December 2015.

But the Scot will compete in the 470 class with Grube after being confirmed as one of the final four team members.

Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign complete the 15-strong British team in the 49er class after a close selection battle.

The 29-year-old Patience, from Aberdeen, admitted to mixed emotions over his inclusion.

"It's still a special day but mixed feelings I suppose because I am combining two campaigns to try and still achieve the same goal," he told BBC Scotland.

Patience and Willis had already qualified for Rio in the 470, but the British pair were withdrawn by the British Olympic Association and Royal Yachting Association (RYA) after Willis' illness was diagnosed in December. Patience was then paired with Grube, 31, and the duo had to re-qualify.

Luke Patience
Patience won a silver medal alongside Stuart Bithell at the London Olympics in 2012

Mark England, Team GB's Chef de Mission for Rio, admits things have not been easy for Patience in his bid to make his second Olympics.

"It's been a challenging time for Luke having been selected back in September and then having to refocus following Elliot's diagnosis," he said.

"Chris and Luke can now forge a strong partnership and we wish Elliot all the best and hope to see him on the water again soon."

While Patience clearly still has former partner Willis in his thoughts, he is also looking forward to another chapter in his Olympic career after winning silver at London 2012 with Stuart Bithell in the 470.

"I hope I can draw on the London experience, and with Chris being a first time Olympian, between us it will keep things grounded," he added.

"Four years ago I was probably the most excited man with Stuart in front of the camera, but business will be business. We will do the damage we can do on the water and hopefully with a smile on our face."

Final GB sailing team for Rio

Selected on 4 May:

Luke Patience, 29 (Men's 470)

Chris Grube, 31 (Men's 470)

Dylan Fletcher, 28 (49er)

Alain Sign, 30 (49er)

Previously selected:

Giles Scott (Finn)

Nick Thompson (Laser)

Alison Young (Laser Radial)

Bryony Shaw (Women's RS:X)

Nick Dempsey (Men's RS:X)

Hannah Mills (Women's 470)

Saskia Clark (Women's 470)

Charlotte Dobson (49erFX)

Sophie Ainsworth (49erFX)

Ben Saxton (Nacra 17)

Nicola Groves (Nacra 17)