WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS WILL DETERMINE THOMAS’ FLIGHT TO BEIJING

23 Aug 2007

Stephen Thomas warms up with his three-man keel boat team-mates Hannah Stodel and John Robertson in AthensCardiff’s leading World Disability Sailor, Stephen Thomas, is on a mission to step aboard the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, when he sets sail in search of a medal at the 2007 ISDF Disabled World Sailing Championship in Rochester, New York State next week (7-15 September).

Thomas and his three-person keel boat crew – including Great Britain’s Hannah Stodel and John Robertson – must finish among the medals in order to stand a chance of fulfilling their dreams in Beijing next year.

Team GB qualified for the next Olympic showdown at last year’s Disabled World Championships. Now Thomas and other potential GB crews, face an internal selection process.

The 30 year-old sailor and a double above the knee amputee, is confident of his prospects:

"I think we can finish within the top five, but we don’t want to put too much pressure on ourselves by pre-supposing positions. If we reach our medal potential on the day I’m confident we can beat anyone in the world."

Thomas’ crew finished third in their last Olympic Classes Regatta in Miami OC last January, behind the Americans, and crossed the line first at the Disabled Mid-Winter Regatta in Tampa Bay, Florida.