• London Olympics 2012

Ainslie: I can't afford to lose focus in pursuit of gold

ESPN staff
May 22, 2012
Ben Ainslie had the honour of launching the Olympic torch relay © PA Photos

Ben Ainslie fears all his hard work could be in vain as he sets his sights on a fourth Olympic gold medal at London 2012.

Ainslie was the first athlete selected to represent Team GB this summer despite heavy competition from British rivals Giles Scott and Ed Wright.

With the chance to add a fifth medal to his collection, which includes three golds and a silver medal from his first games in Atlanta in 1996, Ainslie was handed the honour of kicking off the Olympic torch relay when it began its 70-day journey round Britain at the weekend.

Ainslie, who claimed carrying the flame was more nerve-wracking than competing in the Games themselves, underwent back surgery earlier in the year, but having been crowned Finn world champion for a sixth time last week, he is happy with how his preparations for his home Olympics have gone.

However, he is quick to acknowledge that all his hard work could be undone by injury, illness or loss of focus.

"We had our World Championships last week and that was great, I managed to win the event so I was really happy with that," Ainslie told Sky Sports News. "We had some fantastic sailing conditions down in Falmouth so to get through that in one piece and with a good result was great but there is still a lot of hard work to be done.

"These final months into the build-up of the Games are the most critical; to get the preparation right, make sure you don't get injured or sick and keep the focus going."

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