Hayling Island sailing star Eilidh McIntyre dreaming of following in dad’s footsteps after winning Tokyo Olympic selection

Eilidh McInyre, left, and Hannah Mills have been selected for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
Eilidh McInyre, left, and Hannah Mills have been selected for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
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Eilidh McIntyre will be aiming to emulate her dad’s gold medal winning achievement in Tokyo next year.

The Hayling Islander has today been chosen alongside Hannah Mills to compete for GB in the 470 Women’s event in Japan.

Mills will be defending her crown, having won gold at Rio in 2016

A Tokyo 2020 medal for Mills would make her the most successful female Olympic sailor of all time. 

McIntyre, meanwhile, will be making her Olympic debut 32 years after her dad Mike won gold for GB in the Star class.

Mike teamed up with Bryn Vaile to top the podium in Seoul in 1988 - GB’s only gold medal in sailing between 1976 and 2000.

McIntyre and Mills have rarely been off the podium since teaming up in 2017, with their success culminating in victory at this year’s World Championships and silver at the Ready Steady Tokyo test event this summer.

‘It feels quite surreal to finally be selected – it hasn’t really hit me yet,’ said McIntyre.

‘It is my dream to go to an Olympic Games but more than that it is my dream to win gold. 

‘It feels like the hard work is about to start.

‘Getting that phone call, it took a while for it to sink in. 

‘Winning the worlds and winning a silver at the test event you kind of hope that it’s coming but I don’t think it was really until I phoned my family that me and everyone burst into tears. 

‘That’s when I got that ‘I’m going’ moment. 

‘Now we can say that two members of the family have been to an Olympic Games and there’s not many families that can say that.

McIntyre added: ‘It’s been unreal this year. I really thought that this time cycle it was my time and my time to push it.

‘We have been in with a shot of a medal in every regatta we have been at, so it has felt like we have made massive strides to winning a gold medal next year.’