Shaw determined to end Olympic windsurfing career with gold
BRYONY SHAW insists she is determined to take what could be her last chance to win Olympic windsurfing gold at London 2012.
LAST CHANCE: Bryony Shaw is more determined than ever to win RS:X gold at London 2012, now that it's her last chance to do so
Shaw is preparing for her second Games after making history back in 2008 when she earned Britain's first ever female Olympic windsurfing medal in Beijing, claiming bronze.
Now 29, hopes are high she can go further and claim gold in Weymouth this summer, despite suffering a chest infection which disrupted her preparations.
But with the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) ruling her sport will be replaced by kiteboarding from Rio 2016 onwards, Shaw is well aware she might not get another opportunity.
"It's devastating for the whole windsurfing community," she said. "It's a shame that it came down to a choice between the two sports.
"I'm 29, but I look up to the more senior girls who have been to four or five Olympics.
"After this summer I'll have been to two Games, but it makes me sad to realise I won't get the chance to have that same level of experience.
"Knowing this summer's Games will be the last chance has taken a bit of the shine off, but it has also made me more determined to make the most of it. I see London 2012 as the peak of my career.
"I think I can do it. I've got the armoury and the ability and I've got a really strong team around me."
Shaw has been training at the Olympic venue in Weymouth's Portland Harbour for the past few months in preparation for the Games.
This week's Skandia Sail for Gold event will attract over 700 sailors from around the world to the venue, and Shaw is looking forward to seeing her Olympic rivals up close.
"I've been surprised how few competitors have come over and trained on the waters here," she added. "They're missing a trick if you ask me.
"We're getting used to the environment and the wind directions, and for the last few years the team have been collecting information on the venue.
"It's all about knowing your competitors, as we can each affect each other around the race track. I'll be keeping an eye on them as we go round, and I'm sure they'll be keeping an eye on me.
"But I also can't afford to be too worried about them, because I've got to think about what I'm doing."
Investment specialist Skandia is the principal sponsor of the British sailing team. For more information go to www.skandiateamgbr.com