SHE MIGHT have left the Youth Olympic Games empty handed, but Swindon sailor Hanna Brant insists she heads home from Nanjing armoured with all the tools needed to succeed at the highest level.
Brant got her Youth Olympic Games assault underway last Monday and immediately found the going tough, finishing no higher than 14th in the opening four races.
Just when it looked like the 15-year-old had turned things around, after she won the fifth race on Wednesday, disaster struck as following a seventh-place finish Brant was disqualified from the next race after picking up two penalties.
Brant then looked to sign off from China in style in Sunday’s final race but try as she might she couldn’t, finishing 24th to leave her 18th overall from 30 boats.
However the teenager is adamant her trip to China was far from a wasted journey.
“I was just looking to end the Youth Olympics on a positive note but the final race didn’t go great unfortunately,” Brant said.
“It was pretty tough conditions out there and I just wasn’t at my best. Once again I started well but just couldn’t see it through.
“But I have really enjoyed the whole Youth Olympic Games experience and I can take so much away from it.
“I have learned so much just being at the venue with all the different sailors and going up against the best from around the world and seeing what I can do to improve.
“The main thing I will take away from it is to always try wherever you are in the rankings and to always try and gain places as every boat matters in the long run.”
Brant will look to put her new tool set into action almost immediately upon her return as she eyes up the sole British female spot at next year’s ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships.
“My next big aim is that I am hoping to go to ISAF Youth Worlds and this has given me confidence that I can do that,” she added.
“It will be tough as one boy and one girl qualify after a week-long regatta in Easter time but I am really happy with what I did show in Nanjing and can hopefully back that up.”
The British Olympic Association prepares and leads British athletes at the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games. It works in partnership with sport National Governing Bodies to enhance Olympic success and is responsible for championing the Olympic Values. www.teamgb.com