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Three-time Olympic sailor Hannah Mills has the potential to make history for Britain as the Tokyo regatta nears its end, according to training partner Amy Seabright.
Seabright and Mills have trained together over two Olympiads, for Rio and Tokyo, and Seabright thinks Mills and crew-mate Eilidh McIntyre are in with a shot of reaching the top of the podium.
Mills will become Britain's most successful female Olympic sailor with a gold in Tokyo, and has finished top four in all but two contests in the women's 470 heading into Wednesday's medal race.
The Tokyo Opening Ceremony flag-bearer for Team GB - who claimed silver at London 2012 and gold in Rio - is guaranteed another medal, with her crew leading the second-placed French duo by 14 points.
“She’s on track to make history,” said Seabright, who has benefited first-hand from National Lottery players’ support of Team GB and seen how vital it is through Mills’ performance in Tokyo.
“Hannah’s exactly where I hoped all of her potential would leave her. It would only be a mishap or something unlucky that won't lead her to the top of the podium and winning another gold.
"The support we receive as the British Sailing Team from the National Lottery is so good. The changes this year, it's not a norm for anyone, so what Hannah's doing is more impressive.”
Monday’s racing in Tokyo was postponed as organisers waited for winds to pick up at Enoshima Yacht Harbour, while last week a typhoon threatened to cancel racing altogether.
Seabright added: “I think Hannah will be able to handle the weather's unpredictability easily. She's very adaptable and open to change, and good at keeping a level head and attacking whatever's thrown at her.
“They don't have any real weaknesses to be honest and they're a very rounded pair. I think she's got a massive potential to win it.
"Overall, in the conditions, I think they are the best in that fleet and they'll be ready for whatever is thrown at them."
Mills also has the support of her brother, Richard, who manages and coaches at Cardiff Bay Yacht Sailing Club and has witnessed how playing The National Lottery has helped transform the fortunes of Team GB over the past two decades with Mills' success, and supported good causes including community sailing initiatives at the club.
Richard said: “Hannah’s an exceptional athlete. She's very mentally driven with what she needs to do and she knows exactly where she is.
“Her performance so far has been absolutely outstanding, with seriously consistent results across the board, which has led her to be in first place with only one point behind, the Polish boat following on.
“Hannah was potentially not going to be continuing after this Olympics. It's still not definite whether she’s going or not to Paris, so it's a big Games for her to get out and crack on and she seems to be putting in the results that matter.
“I believe she has every capability of winning gold again. It will be an amazing thing if she does.
“It’s absolutely fantastic to think that she's gone from learning sailing back at Llanishen Sailing Centre all those years ago to where she's got to know – where she's really trying to make a positive change for the environment, at the same time as really inspiring all these kids through to the next generation. It's incredible."
The National Lottery players’ support to Team GB is vital. Through playing The National Lottery they have helped transform the fortunes of Team GB over the past two decades as well as supporting good causes including community sailing initiatives.