SHANDON sailing star Anna Burnet has admitted that she burst into tears after being told she’ll compete in her first Olympic Games.

The former Lomond School pupil and her sailing partner John Gimson will fly the flag for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 multi-hull class in Tokyo later this year.

The pair’s selection was confirmed after a gruelling battle for the one Nacra 17 berth at this year’s Games, with their fourth place at the 2019 world championships securing their place.

Burnet, the niece of legendary New Zealand yachtsman Sir Peter Blake, added: “When [team manager] Mark Robinson told us we’d been selected it took a while to sink in, and then half an hour later I burst into tears.

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“It’s been such a long process to get to this stage that it still hasn’t fully sunk in.

“My parents are super happy, and I have so much to thank them for in getting this far.

“I’ve always dreamed of going to the Games but never assumed it would just happen.

“When I was younger I went to a talent camp that [double Olympic silver medallist sailor] Joe Glanfield was the sailing mentor for, and we set out a realistic plan to aim for the 2020 Olympics. I think that plan has worked out OK!

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“Now it seems like the Olympics is coming round fast and we’ve got so much to do, but I can’t wait to be part of it.”

Gimson and Burnet join the 12 sailors representing eight classes already named for Team GB, including the Rhu pair of Luke Patience and Charlotte Dobson.

Patience will partner Chris Grube in the men’s 470 class, while Dobson will race alongside Saskia Tidey in the women’s 49erFX category.

Burnet’s partner Gimson added: “I’m elated and relieved – it’s been a big fight to get to this point.

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“When Mark Robinson called to tell me the news of our selection he made a grown man cry, because it’s been such a long journey for me.

“I’ve been campaigning to get to the Olympics since 2005 so to finally get the nod is incredibly emotional.

“With this campaign now I’ve put everything that I’ve learned over the last 15 years together to build a solid campaign alongside Anna, who’s by far the best team mate I’ve ever had.

“It’s been a long journey but I’ve always had an inner belief that if I could put everything together and also get a bit of a break I could go to the Games.”

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