British pair miss out on medal
August 8, 2012 14:00 pm
Great Britain's Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes saw their hopes of a bronze medal in sailing's 49er class end today.
The Exmouth sailors have had an indifferent regatta, only managing to show flashes of their true ability, and came into the medal race six points off the bronze medal - the only podium position yet to be decided.
However, Morrison and Rhodes fell short in a tense race on the Nothe Course and finished fifth as Denmark's Allan Norregaard and Peter Lang secured bronze, while Australia's Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen wrapped up gold.
The Antipodean pair were already mathematically assured of topping the 49er standings coming into the medal race, while New Zealand's Peter Burling and Blair Tuke had silver secured. The teams only had to turn up and compete in the medal race - even if they finished last - to clinch the victory, which they duly did to leave just bronze up for grabs.
Morrison and Rhodes came into the medal race in fifth place, six points behind Norregaard and Lang in third after the 15 opening fleet races, and were one of a number of teams in with a chance of a podium finish.
The British pair started the race well and looked in great shape as they rounded the top mark second only to Nico Delle Karth and Nikolaus Resch. The Austrians came into the medal race seventh but only eight points off a medal and were continued to threaten Morrison and Rhodes' bronze medal chances, rounding the second mark still ahead.
However, things began to go off course for the Brits on the second upwind leg as they lost a lot of ground on Delle Karth and Resch and moved down to third behind New Zealand. The standings remained the same around the fourth mark, but bronze medal favourites Denmark made huge gains on the following leg.
Having previously been way down the fleet, they dragged themselves up to fourth around the fifth mark and pushed on to finish third - assuring them bronze, despite Austria winning the medal race. Morrison and Rhodes could only end the medal race in fifth, leaving them in that position overall.
"It is just the nature of sailing, really," Morrison told BBC Sport after the medal race. "We have done eight races here under the Nothe, which is obviously very shifty and gusty. We have not particularly done ourselves justice on this particular course and on the bigger courses we've really sailed a good week.
"It is pretty gutting, but what can you do? It's done now and we move on. It is amazing the support we got on there (the Nothe) and our family and everyone is there, which is really cool. But it is pretty gutting because we really kind of threw it away in the middle of the week. We should have been far better off in the points, but we weren't and that is how it is."
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