Olympic sailing champion Hannah Mills considers FX switch

By Hannah PollakBBC Wales Sport
Hannah Mills (left) with Saskia Clark
Hannah Mills (left) celebrates winning Olympic gold with Saskia Clark in Rio de Janeiro in 2016

Wales' Olympic sailing champion Hannah Mills is considering changing boats ahead of the Tokyo Games in 2020.

Mills won gold in Rio with her partner Saskia Clark sailing in the 470 class.

But the 28-year-old from Cardiff is seeking a new challenge and will experiment with the FX class.

"I think this next year's a good opportunity for me to try something else just to keep it fresh and, in a years' time, I can make a decision of where I want to go," said Mills.

"I've been sailing in the 470 class now for 10 years. It's such an amazing boat and I've learnt so many amazing sailing skills from it.

"The new boat is a lot faster quite a different challenge. I'm really excited to try something new."

The FX is a two-person boat and is one of the five sailing classes open to women in the Olympics.

"We have a national competition coming up in November and that'll be my first opportunity racing that boat," Mills added.

TUE controversy

Mill's sailing partner Saskia Clark was one of several British athletes who had their medical records leaked earlier this month.

The records showed Clark was given a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) to treat her asthma during the Beijing and London Olympics.

TUEs allow banned substances to be used for medical reasons.

"For us in sailing it's not a massive factor. There aren't many TUEs in sailing aside from something like an asthma inhaler," said Mills.

"We aren't even that aware of what even people could take and get a TUE for. It's something that needs to be under scrutiny to make the process better and to make sure all the athletes are happy.

"I've spoken to Saskia and she totally relaxed. It's hard for us to even comprehend that it would be an issue because in sailing there's so much going on. Fitness is a huge part of it but there are 50 million other things we have to worry about."

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