SAILING: Eight medals for GB stars

SILVER SHOW; Elliot Willis and Luke Patience

SILVER SHOW; Elliot Willis and Luke Patience

First published in Sport

GREAT Britain rounded off a successful Rio Olympic test event with four medals on the final day to take their tally to eight for the regatta.

Portland-based Luke Patience and Elliot Willis in the men’s 470, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark in the women’s equivalent and Alison Young in the laser radial all took silver while Nick Thompson remained in bronze medal position in the laser, despite injury.

Thompson was forced to sit out the medal race after damaging his arm in a collision with another boat on Saturday but his main rivals failed to take advantage and though he dropped out of second place, he stayed on the podium.

“I was in my room, feeling a little bit sorry for myself, watching online for results updates and seeing how the guys got on,'' he said.

“The biggest thing for me was that I was able to sail so well here and I certainly feel very comfortable in Rio now.”

Young was racing for the first time in 10 months after a battle with illness and lifted herself from fourth to second on the final day, finishing second in the medal race where double points were awarded.

Patience and Willis survived a protest, claiming they had received assistance from their coach inside the four-minute cut-off before the start of the race, to take silver – a feat matched by Mills and Clark in a thrilling finish.

Three boats were tied for top spot going into the medal race and Mills and Clark’s sixth place was good enough for second overall behind New Zealand’s Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie.

The race was won by another British pair, Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre.

The medals added to gold and bronze for Giles Scott and Ed Wright in the Finn and further third places for Pippa Wilson and John Gimson in the Nacra 17 and Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign in the 49er and team manager Stephen Park was delighted with Britain’s efforts.

“Winning eight medals in seven events of the 10 that we compete in (in the Olympics) has been very pleasing,” he said.

“Of course we’d like to win more gold medals than we’ve won this week but we were in there competing for gold medals certainly in four of the events.”

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