Following the news that Annalise Murphy will not contest this year’s Sailing World Championships in the Laser Radial class, the Olympic Silver medallist has expanded on the reason behind her decision not to race in Denmark and confirmed her Olympic ambition for Tokyo 2020 Gold in this morning's Irish Times.
Earlier on Afloat.ie, Olympic Team Manager James O'Callaghan confirmed Aoife Hopkins as the automatic replacement for Murphy who is currently on Volvo Ocean Race duty with the Turn the Tide on Plastics Campaign.
O'Callaghan said that the National Yacht Club ace opted not to take the place as 'she decided she would not have enough time between finishing her VOR commitments and delivering a result she would be proud of'.
The Rathfarnham sailor points to the intensity of training needed to compete in a world championship. “If I was to go to Aarhus [Denmark] I wouldn’t have sailed the boat for almost a full year. I know how much work is needed to prepare for an event like that – I’m not stupid – you have to work hard and prepare, and I want to be winning events and in the hunt for medals rather than just making up the numbers.”
The Irish sailing superstar will be well aware that a host of new talent plus some of her arch international rivals for Tokyo 2020 Gold are already ratcheting up their Radial campaigns, including Rio gold medalist Marit Boumeester of Holland. For example, at last week's Trofeo Princesa Sofia Regatta, Denmark's Anne-Marie Rindom, Britain's Alison Young and Boumeester, all Rio competitors, were consistently placed in the top five of the World Cup regatta.
Murphy tells the newspaper that her 'Olympic ambition definitely remains, and all options to continue campaigning will be examined, but I’m determined to complete the Volvo Ocean Race commitment before deciding the best route'.
Read much more in the Irish Times here