Elliot Willis withdrawn from GB sailing squad for Rio due to cancer treatment

Published: Tuesday 8th March 2016 by The News Editor

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Elliot Willis has been withdrawn from the Great Britain sailing squad for the Rio Olympics due to ongoing treatment for bowel cancer.

The 32-year-old was one of the first athletes selected for the Games by Team GB in September along with 470 partner Luke Patience.

However Willis was diagnosed with cancer in December and is currently undergoing radiotherapy which will rule him out of much of the crucial Olympic build-up.

Patience, who has also been de-selected as a consequence and must seek to re-qualify with a different 470 partner, expressed sympathy for Willis.

Patience said: ” Clearly Elliot’s situation is one neither of us foresaw when we embarked on our campaign together and I’m sad that we won’t be able to compete together in Rio this summer.

“The thoughts of all the team continue to be with Elliot in his ongoing recovery. For me, it’s absolutely the right thing to do to see through the work Elliot and I started out together.

“I’m aiming to requalify for Rio with Chris (Grube) and do the best job we can to bring home a medal.”

Five more sailors have been added to the list of confirmed qualifiers for Rio, with windsurfer Nick Dempsey aiming to become a five-time Olympian.

Dempsey won a bronze medal in Athens in 2004 and silver at London 2012, and is aiming to become Britain’s most successful Olympic windsurfer.

Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth will make their Olympic debuts in the 49erFX – a new event for Rio – with Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves following suit in the Nacra 17 mixed multihull event.

Published: Tuesday 8th March 2016 by The News Editor

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