Please select your home edition
Edition
J Composites 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Tokyo2020: Josh Junior earns NZ Olympic selection in the Finn class

by Michael Brown / Yachting NZ 27 May 13:11 PDT 28 May 2021
2021 Finn Gold Cup day 4: Josh Junior, NZL © Robert Deaves

31-year-old Josh Junior has been selected ahead of close friend and training partner Andy Maloney for the one position available to New Zealand in the heavyweight dinghy on the back of his consistently high results at pinnacle events.

In 2019 he became the first Kiwi to win the Finn Gold Cup (world championships) since its introduction in 1956 and he followed that with bronze at this month's Finn Gold Cup in Portugal.

Maloney won the world title in Portugal, not only illustrating the depth of Finn sailing in this country but also emphasising the success of the pair's shared campaign approach, and he will now take over as Junior's coach for the Olympics. Both are part of the Emirates Team New Zealand sailing squad and won the 2017 and 2021 America's Cups.

Junior was seventh in the Finn at the 2016 Rio Olympics and will go to Tokyo excited about his chances.

"I feel honoured and excited to get the chance to represent New Zealand at the Tokyo Olympics," he said. "It's incredibly special to be a part of the team and I can't wait to get there and try to win a gold medal for New Zealand.

"Andy and I have been building up to these Games for a long time now. We have worked closely together and it was always going to be tough to decide who would get to represent New Zealand at the Olympics. I guess I am now incredibly lucky to have the current world champion coaching me, but feel a little bit for him at the same time.

"Rio was an amazing experience for me. Although the result was tough, it has taught us a lot that we have built into this campaign. I can't wait to keep training and working with Andy as we look ahead to Tokyo."

Maloney was philosophical about missing out, especially as he narrowly missed a spot in the team for the Rio Olympics to Sam Meech in the Laser, but fully supported the decision.

"It's mixed feelings for me," he said. "I'm obviously disappointed to not be competing in Tokyo but can be happy with my progression in the Finn over the Olympic cycle. Thanks to Josh and our coaches I can bow out of the Finn as the world champ, which is pretty cool.

"Josh sailed incredibly well through our selection series, winning the 2019 world championships and then following it up with another spot on the podium this year. He's quick and racing really well, so I can't wait to continue pushing him over the next two months and supporting him through these final stages of the campaign."

The selection of Junior rounds out the New Zealand sailing team to compete at Enishoma, the sailing venue for the Tokyo Olympics. He joins Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (49er), Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (49erFX), Sam Meech (Laser), Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox (men's 470) and Micah Wilkinson and Erica Dawson (Nacra 17).

New Zealand qualified for all 10 sailing events for Tokyo but the sailors in the women's 470, Laser Radial and men's and women's RS:X didn't meet New Zealand's tough selection criteria.

Yachting New Zealand high performance director Ian Stewart said Junior's selection represented another milestone for the sailing team with the Games due to start in less than two months.

"We're thrilled for JJ, but definitely feel for Andy," Stewart said. "It’s a shame they both can’t be on the start line because they’ve set a new level for New Zealand sailors working together. Having both of them in Japan is a real strength to the team.

"Given the unknowns and added pressures of these Covid Olympics, it's great to have an experienced and tight team."

NZOC chief executive Kereyn Smith passed on her congratulations to Junior and Maloney.

“Both these athletes have put together fantastic campaigns and we’re glad they’ll both be joining us in Tokyo,” Smith said. “This is a real testament to the depth of talent developed by Yachting New Zealand and we look forward to seeing Junior in action in two months' time.”

The selection of Junior brings the total number of athletes selected to the New Zealand team to 49.

Related Articles

Tokyo2020 - Some historic images from Enoshima
For those still keen for an Olympic sailing fix, here's some new images from our photo library For those still keen for an Olympic sailing fix, here's some new images from Sail-World's photo library from Tokyo2020, plus a couple of short stories about the historical significance of the images and sailors. Posted on 1 Sep
Tokyo2020: Medalists non committal on new Events
The final day of racing at Tokyo2020 Olympic Sailing Regatta, panned out much as expected. The final day of racing at Tokyo2020 panned out much as expected. After the two 470 Medal Races, there was only one change on the leaderboard, when the French Women's 470 crew dropped from being second overall to being Bronze medalist. Posted on 6 Aug
Tokyo2020: Kiwis miss Bronze medal by 2pts
Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox were hurting after missing out on a medal by a single place Finishing fourth at an Olympics Games is one of the hardest things for any competitor and Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox were hurting after missing out on a medal by the narrowest of margins today. Posted on 4 Aug
Brits win two Olympic Golds from four Medal races
"God save the Queen" was played at two of the four Medal Presentation ceremonies After yesterday's deferral of all racing due to light winds, it was a busy day at the Tokyo2020 Sailing Olympic Regatta. "God save the Queen" was played at two of the four Medal Presentation ceremonies, stamping the British authority on these Olympics Posted on 3 Aug
Tokyo2020: Kiwis win Silver in 49er shoot-out
Burling and Tuke win New Zealand's 100th Olympic medal on Sagami Bay Peter Burling and Blair Tuke remember competing at the 2012 London Olympics and noticing how glum many of those who secured silver seemed. Posted on 3 Aug
Tokyo2020: All racing to proceed today
All racing scheduled for the Tokyo2020 Olympic Regatta will proceed today All racing scheduled for the Tokyo2020 Olympic Regatta was cancelled yesterday, due to light winds. The front appears to have passed through, and the wind has swung to being an onshore westerly. Posted on 3 Aug
Tokyo2020: First reflections on a yo-yo regatta
The Tokyo2020 Olympics are half over - with five Olympic Medal races are still to be contested The Tokyo2020 Olympics are half over - the remaining five Olympic Medal races due to be contested over the next two days. And today looks like being another with light winds. Posted on 3 Aug
49er and FX Medal Races postponed until Tuesday
Due to a lack of wind in Enoshima on Monday Due to a lack of wind in Enoshima on Monday, the 49er and 49erFX medal races have been postponed until Tuesday. They will be added to the program that includes the Nacra 17 Medal race. Posted on 2 Aug
Images from Day 8 - Laser, Laser Radial and Nacra
Images from Day 8 of the Tokyo2020 Olympic Regatta featuring the Medal Racing and Nacra 17's Images from Day 8 of the Tokyo2020 Olympic Regatta featuring the Medal Race for the Mens Laser and Womens Laser Radial, plus the Nacra 17's finish their qualifying. Posted on 1 Aug
Enoshima was a happy hunting ground for the Kiwis
Just under 60 years ago, New Zealand won its second ever sailing Gold medal in the 1964 Olympics Just under 60 years ago, New Zealand won its second ever sailing Gold medal in the 1964 Olympic Regatta staged at Enoshima. Tomorrow, we will know if New Zealand sailors are able to emulate this feat. Posted on 1 Aug
SOUTHERN-SPARS-AGLAIA-SPARS_728X90 BottomJ Composites 2020 - FOOTERC-Tech 2021 SnuffAir 728x90 BOTTOM