Guernsey Press

Fourth Games is a silver lining for Heather

Bitter sweet – that was the only way to describe the first day of Wimbledon for Heather Watson, who crashed out of the ladies’ singles at the first hurdle just as news began to circulate around the All England Club of her inclusion in Team GB for the forthcoming Olympics.

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Heather Watson will be competing for Great Britain in her fourth Olympics in Paris this summer. (Picture by Zac Goodwin/PA Wire)

The Sarnian, for so long a stalwart of the doubles game as well as singles, and a veteran of three previous Olympics, will partner Katie Boulter in the women’s pairs in Paris.

Watson was actually told last week that she would be travelling as part of the Team GB squad, but had to keep it a secret until the official confirmation came late yesterday morning.

‘I wasn’t allowed to say anything, which has been difficult because it’s the kind of thing you want to tell everyone,’ she said.

‘It’s really good news, because it was a big goal of mine. I’m very happy to be competing in another one. Some people are lucky to make one, so four is just amazing.

‘We sent each other a selfie the day we found out, our little way of congratulating each other. We played together in Roland Garros so that was like our practice, but hopefully we’ll have a chance to work together beforehand as part of the squad’s preparation.’

Watson will have to wait at least another three weeks to hear whether she will be playing in the mixed doubles as well as the women’s pairs at the Olympics, with the sign-in for the event due to take place in Paris on 24 July.

‘The cut for the mixed at the Olympics is very high, so it’ll just depend who else signs in for it,’ Watson added.

‘There’s a chance, but I’ll just have to wait and see. I really hope so though because I loved the mixed.’

With Watson heading to France next month, the Bailiwick will once again have three Olympic representatives this summer.

Sark dressage star Carl Hester has already been named as part of the GB equestrian team while Guernsey athlete Alastair Chalmers achieved the qualifying time he needed in dramatic fashion on Sunday and is expected to have his Paris place confirmed this week.