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Goudhurst sailor Freya Black rates Olympics podium chances after putting credentials to the test in Marseille

Goudhurst's Freya Black is confident she can finish on the podium at Paris 2024 after her showings in the Olympic sailing test event at next year's venue.

The 22-year-old finished seventh in the women's 49erFX class alongside sailing partner and two-time Olympian Saskia Tidey at the test event in Marseille, the duo combining on the water just 18 months ago.

Freya Black, left, and Saskia Tidey have been out on the water in Marseille. Picture: Felix Diemer
Freya Black, left, and Saskia Tidey have been out on the water in Marseille. Picture: Felix Diemer

And despite losing out on some easy points across the week in France, a strong medal race performance by the pair showcased their strength ahead of the World Championships, where an Olympic quota spot will be on the line.

"I'm feeling good, we had a solid week," Black said.

"We left a lot of points out on the water, but we know what we want to improve on and that's really motivating.

"To know that we have a lot more points to gain, we can put some effort in and get into the medals soon.

"To be at this test event is so cool and to race against the top boat in each nation is a great opportunity a year out from the Games.

"We had a really solid medal race, leading all the way round, but unfortunately we got jibbed on the last run and dropped to fourth. Three-hundred and 65 days is enough time to push into the medals for next year and that's what we're excited for."

Marseille will become a sailing powerhouse next summer as it plays host to all sailing disciplines at the Paris Olympics, with the test event acting as a prime opportunity for the best sailors from around the world to get a feel for the French waters.

Despite challenging wind and heat conditions, Black maintained a positive attitude about the venue.

And with less than one month to remedy their struggles before they head to the Worlds in The Hague, the sailor is excited to take on another key event on the road back to Marseille.

"Marseille is a challenging venue and I think it will definitely reward a versatile sailor," she said. "You can get any kind of conditions on any given day here which I think is really cool.

"It's great being in 28 degrees weather but I definitely need to adapt to it a bit quicker!

"Next, we've got the World Championships in the Hague where we need to qualify the nation for the Olympics.

"We'll be pushing at that event and hopefully we'll grab that Olympic spot in a few weeks' time."

Follow the British Sailing Team at the upcoming Sailing World Championships in The Hague, Netherlands, on Instagram at @britishsailing

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