08 Oct 2022

Tipperary sailor Aisling Keller 'frustrated' at being deprived of Olympic shot

Irish Sailing decision to cut trials casts Nenagh woman adrift

Tipperary sailor Aisling Keller 'frustrated' at being deprived of Olympic shot

Nenagh's Aisling Keller: missing out on Olympic chance after trials were cut short

Tipperary sailor Aisling Keller has voiced her disappointment at Irish Sailing's decision to cut short trials for the Tokyo Olympics, which have been postponed to 2021.

The decision means that the Nenagh woman, who sails out of Lough Derg Yacht Club in Dromineer, and who actually qualified Ireland to take part in the Ladies Laser Radial class in Tokyo with her performance at the Worlds in Australia in 2019, has been cast adrift.

Fellow sailor Aoife Hopkins has also voiced her disappointment.

Ms Keller, a European u21 medal holder and the holder of a national title, has questioned why the decision was ratified by the Irish Sailing board with the postponed Olympic Games still over a year away.

The shortened trials have handed the Olympic slot to trials leader and Rio silver medalist Annalise Murphy.

The remaining two Olympic trials events have been cancelled due to coronavirus and selection has been based solely on the worlds from February, an event in which the National Yacht Club's Annalise Murphy finished 12th.

Aisling expressed her disappointment at the decision on her Facebook page this Thursday, saying it was a "bit frustrating to not have the chance to redeem myself after a disappointing result in Australia".

Ms Keller, who resigned from Irish Sailing in April, said in her Facebook post: "I can always say I qualified the country for the Olympics and as it stands it is the only Irish class to do it so far for the Tokyo Olympics."

She gave a shout-out to Ms Hopkins, describing her as her team mate and friend, saying: "Without each other Ireland wouldn’t have any sailing spots guaranteed for Tokyo".

She sent best wishes to Annalise Murphy on her selection for Toyko in 2021.

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