Belfast Telegraph

James Espey's bid for back-to-back Olympics ends

By Robert Jones

James Espey has unfortunately missed out on the chance to represent Ireland in his second Olympic Games.

The Bangor sailor competed for Ireland in the Laser Class at London 2012 and qualified the Irish boat for Rio 2016 by finishing 40th overall at the 2014 Sailing Word Championships in Santander, Spain.

However, only one boat per nation can be selected across 10 Olympic disciplines and with four potential sailors in the running to represent Ireland at the Rio Games, the ISA put a three event trial in place to decide the selection.

During the third and final trial, Espey was leading by six points but at the conclusion finished 24 places behind Finn Lynch from Blessington, who took a significant lead from the outset.

Royal Yachting Association NI Chief Operating Officer and Performance Manager, Richard Honeyford said: "James has been campaigning in the Laser class since 2006.

"He has shown incredible drive, determination and commitment to achieve his Olympics goal, which he did in London 2012."

He continued: "Not only that, but he is an inspiring sporting ambassador who is well respected and known for helping his competitors.

"The Olympic Games is the pinnacle of our sport and James had his sights set on representing his country on that stage for the second time.

"He has sadly lost out in an incredible trial and he will no doubt recognise the incredible achievement of his fellow competitors."

Belfast Telegraph


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