Windsurfer Bryony Shaw saddened by Olympic axe

Windsurfer Bryony Shaw has likened the removal of the sport from the Olympic programme to a death in the family.

It was announced on Monday that kitesurfing will replace windsurfing at the 2016 Games in Rio.

"Right now it feels like something has been ripped out," 2008 bronze medallist Shaw told BBC South East Today.

"It's like someone in my family has died. It's the death of a sport. It's a harsh call because it affects a lot of people."

In response to the International Sailing Federation's decision an online petition has been setup to get windsurfing reinstated.

Nick Dempsey, who won bronze at Athens in 2004, described the decision as "bizarre", but for Shaw the axe did not come as a surprise.

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"We knew it was coming," she said. "We could see that kiteboarding was trying to put a bid in and that it was going to be either or. It was coming but at this stage in May 2012, it's an early call."

Shaw, who lives in Tunbridge Wells but trains at the Olympic venue in Weymouth, shot to fame in 2008 by swearing live on the BBC when interviewed in the immediate aftermath of her maiden Olympic medal.

The Beijing bronze medallist added that the omission in four years time had refocused her efforts for London 2012, but she did not rule out switching sports in the future.

"For me, it's heightened my focus for London. It might be the last Olympics I can compete in windsurfing, my last chance to take a gold medal. I need to think about what I'm going to do.

"Do I jump on a kite? Do I go sailing? These are the questions I need to be considering but at the moment, my main focus is this summer."

She concluded: "I think kiting has similarities to windsurfing and there are a lot of transferable skills. I have kited in the past and enjoyed myself but I haven't done any racing and I probably won't step on a kiteboard until after this summer."