London 2012 agony will not 'destroy' Hannah Stodel team

By Michael PavittBBC Kick-Off Reporter
John Robertson, Stephen Thomas and Hannah Stodel competing at the Paralympics
Stodel (left), Stephen Thomas (centre) and John Robertson were relegated to fifth at London 2012

Paralympic sailor Hannah Stodel says she is using the disappointment of London 2012 as motivation to win a medal at the Rio Paralympics.

Her crew were denied a bronze medal in the Sonar class after being penalised by officials, dropping them to fifth.

An appeal was rejected by the Court of Arbitration in Sport in June 2013.

"London was quite tough on us and we could have let that destroy the team, but that has fuelled us on even more," Colchester's Stodel told BBC Essex.

"The timings with the Cas appeal meant it was a long time before we could get closure on the incident. It was months of waiting, wondering whether we were going to continue."

Stodel, who was born without a right hand, and crew-mates John Robertson and Stephen Thomas suffered a four-point penalty when officials accused team bosun Simon Hiscocks of cleaning the port side of the keel after being authorised to lift the boat out of the water to inspect damage.

The deduction meant the British boat missed out on bronze, and the decision was upheld by Cas.

The team are World Cup winners and two-time world champions, but are still yet to claim an Olympic title.

"I can look back on London and say it has made us one hell of a team," Stodel added.

"We have won pretty much every title there has been, except the Games. Rio is sort of it really."