Sailing: Two silvers in 470 class
There was a thrilling finale to the men’s 470 class race with Australia’s Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page vying for the Olympic gold medal against Great Britain’s Luke Patience and Stuart Bithall.
Australia went into the medal race knowing they just needed to finish in front of the British team, whereas the Brits knew they needed to beat the Australians with at least one boat in-between.
The two played cat and mouse for the whole encounter. Australia got in front of the British from the off, but the home nation was pursuing them closely and were also out in front for a while, with the Croatians and the Argentinians also in the mix.
The Aussies fought back though and as they rounded the last mark the championship leaders began to open up a lead with other countries getting in the middle. The British team knew that they had to catch the Australians down the home stretch, and bravely set about attacking them. However, to their horror they got a red flag penalty for fanning the sails too much, resulting in a penalty turn.
After that it was too much for the British team to catch up, the Australians kept the pace high and crossed the line second behind Croatia to clinch the gold, while the British team came in fourth to take the silver medal.
Over in the women’s race it was a similar situation, this time New Zealand’s Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie needed to finish in front of Britain’s Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark to win the gold.
It was Britain who got off to the better start, however the two teams took different directions just as the wind changed, with New Zealand profiting from heading up wind and the lack of congestion to find themselves somewhat luckily in first place as the Brits got stuck in a cluster of boats.
New Zealand continued to hold the lead as the wind began to fade, with the British team beginning to fall further down the pack.
As the teams were rounding the second mark the course had to be shortened as there was a lack of wind. This was bad news for the British team as they now had less of an opportunity to close down the New Zealanders.
From then on it was plain sailing for Aleh and Powrie. The British team never made the gap up and had to accept silver as New Zealander crossed the line first to secure the gold medal emphatically.
The women’s Elliott semi-finals were also concluded, with Spain winning 2-1 against Russia, while Australia beat Finland 2-1.
Today at the Games
Fred Evans leads Team GB gold rush
Bahamas beat United States in men’s 4x400 metres relay
Lutalo Muhammad clinches bronze medal
GB women win bronze medal
More Olympic heartache for Shanaze Reade
Tom Daley through to first round
Ed McKeever books place in Saturday's final
Russia make men’s volleyball final
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