Southern Gazette (Belmont)
WA sailors get Olympic call-up
THE long wait for former Shelley Sailing Club junior Nia Jerwood and Monique de Vries to confirm their Olympic debut is over.
The reigning Australian Female Sailors of the Year were named to compete in the 470 pairs at the Tokyo Games in July.
Coached in Fremantle by the category’s 2000 Sydney Olympics gold medallist Belinda Stowell-Brett, they were the first athletes confirmed for the Australian team to compete at the delayed games.
Along with champion WA sailor Matt Wearne, they are now among the 80 athletes to have been selected of what is expected to be a travelling team of about 480.
The selection ends a difficult recent journey for de Vries and Jerwood, who last March were on the water in Palma de Mallorca when the world championships were suddenly cancelled because of the global coronavirus pandemic.
But they had already qualified Australia’s 470 spot and have now received their dream reward.
“We’ve been working towards this for a really long time, so it is just so special to have all of our hard work pay off in being selected,” de Vries said.
Jerwood said waiting for the selection had triggered a “roller-coaster of emotions”, but also provided more time to prepare for the racing of their lives.
“We’ve also used the last year as preparation, working on our weaknesses to become more well-rounded athletes,” she said. “We know we’ve gotten faster, our technique and speed have improved and we’re ready to put in our best performance in Tokyo.”