TOM Squires feels he is on the right track after a competitive display at his last event before the Olympics.

The Kingston Bagpuize windsurfer was ninth at the Allianz Regatta in Medemblik, the Netherlands, which is part of the 2021 Hempel World Cup Series.

It followed his eighth-place finish at April’s RS:X World Championships in Cadiz, Spain.

The 27-year-old has had an extra year to prepare for the Olympics, which starts on July 23, after the event was put back 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

That meant Squires did not compete between March and November 2020, but he is in a good place now.

He said: “A lot of stuff is coming together, but it’s a race against time.

“Even with the extra year you’re still trying to better your technique.

“The level of windsurfing is just incredible, there’s so many shapes and sizes of guys and each have different specialities.

“It’s basically the people who can bridge the gap who put a really solid week together (who will be successful).

“I’m better than I’ve ever been in lighter winds and I’m definitely in the mix.

“I’m not just going there to compete, I’m going to aim for a medal.

“It’s open to anyone, so I’m pushing hard.”

Preparation has not been straightforward, with the absence of a domestic training partner forcing Squires to travel abroad to hone his technique.

And Covid has impacted not just his regime, but also his bank balance.

Squires, speaking from Amsterdam, said: “Everything has been so challenging, with the restrictions and testing.

“I must have spent more than £1,500 on Covid tests.”

The windsurfer’s next stop will be Valencia, where he is set to be joined by several of his competitors in Tokyo.

Squires will then return home on June 19, where his two-week stay will include being kitted out in Team GB gear at the NEC in Birmingham.

He travels to Tokyo for his first Olympics in early July, but it has not quite sunk in.

“I think it’ll only feel real after, when I take a step back and think about all the years on the board, even back in Oxford and at Farmoor (Reservoir),” Squires said.

“I’m super excited to be windsurfing at the Games.

“It’s an odd one coming from Oxford, being in the centre of the country.

“Windsurfing at the pinnacle of the sport is going to be a pretty crazy feeling.

“When we start training and wearing our Team GB kit everywhere it’ll feel pretty special.”