Ireland loses Olympic sailor Saskia Tidey to Team GB ahead of Tokyo 2020
Irish sailor Saskia Tidey has switched to Team GB after representing Ireland at Rio 2016.
Tidey has confirmed that she has started training with Team GB with the hope of representing Britain at the 2020 Olympics. She has British citizenship through her father.
She sailed for Ireland alongside partner Andrea Brewster in the 49er FX event in Brazil and has now paired up with Charlotte Dobson of Britain.
Tidey and Brewster finished 12th at Rio, but were unlucky to miss out on the medal race in their first Olympic games. However, Brewster's recent retirement announcement left Tidey with no option but to move across the Irish Sea, as she told the Irish Times.
“There wasn’t an option here in Ireland in the 49er FX with another girl who had the experience to sail at the same level that I had finished up at [at Rio 2016], to be competitive and win a medal in 2020. The 49er FX is a very specific boat and it takes a vast amount of time and commitment, full-time commitment, to even get to the level we got to.”
— Saskia Tidey (@SaskiaTidey) January 6, 2017
As part of Ireland's first ever women’s Olympic skiff crew, Dublin native Tidey admitted leaving Team Ireland was a difficult decision. However, she is very proud of getting to fly to tri-colour in the Olympics and she will always consider herself to be Irish.
"It’s not been easy personally for me. I’m so proud to be Irish, I will always be Irish, and I absolutely couldn’t have been prouder to represent Ireland at Rio 2016."
“I’m grateful for what has happened, but now [am looking forward to] four years of 100 per cent focus on performance.”