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Tom Ashley - Windsurfing Olympic Gold medalist and hero

No excuses, just naturally disappointed but gracious in acknowledging the support he's received. "[YNZ] has been incredibly good to me for the 11 years I've been sailing professionally and I'm really grateful for all the help I've had from them," he said. "I think it would be a stab in the back to turn around and try to fight them on something. They've got 100 per cent good intentions."
There were suggestions that YNZ would defer choosing and have Ashley and Tobin in a "race-off" next year for the spot. Yet Ashley believes making the choice now is right, giving the selected athlete more time to concentrate on peaking next August. "The selectors asked us to peak at a couple of different events. In that sense it wasn't a secret at all," he said.

Those events were the pre-Olympic regatta in Weymouth this year, and Perth.

"I didn't perform as well as I might have at either of the events I [was] supposed to peak at," he said. "You saw what happened with rowing at the last Olympics [between Mahe Drysdale and Rob Waddell] and stretching it out to March or April wouldn't have been good for anyone," Ashley said.

"Even then, you'd be going into trials knowing that you'd have to then back it up three months later with another peak performance, and that's not really realistic. You need to time your peaks as far apart as possible. I think it's definitely good they decided now and not later."

Ashley is undecided about his future. Over the summer he will look at his options.

Before the 2008 Games in Beijing, Ashley told friends and family he would quit sailing afterwards. Instead, he opted for a year studying law.

This time, studying is again an option. So is quitting his career as a windsurfer.

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