GB sailors poised to plunder more gold
August 4, 2012 18:16 pm
Team leader Stephen Park is confident that Great Britain will be celebrating a pair of sailing golds on Sunday.
Ben Ainslie will become the greatest Olympic sailor of all time if he manages to topple Denmark's Jonas Hogh-Christensen in the medal race. The three-time gold medallist will race the Nothe Course after compatriots Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson, who are on the cusp of glory in the Star class. They are already guaranteed bronze.
Park said: "I would certainly still back Ben to the end and it will be a very interesting start. I think the start and first leg of the Finn race on Sunday is going to be quite intense. Iain and Bart have got a few points cushion so they have got a far better chance, so long as they are in touch with the Swedes and particular the Brazilians, even if they are behind, they will win the gold."
He went on to say: "Ben is coping with the pressure very well. I think of all the sailors in that Finn fleet he has had to deal with a lot of pressure and expectation for a huge number of years now. He will cope with that pressure very well and it will be interesting to see how the Dane really deals with that."
Ainslie is two points behind Hogh-Christensen in the overall standings heading into Saturday's medal race, which is competed between the top 10 boats and sees points scored doubled and added to the opening series' score.
With two points for each position in the medal race, Ainslie will win gold as long as he finishes ahead of Hogh-Christensen and six places ahead of the Netherlands' Pieter-Jan Postma.
The standings mean the Briton cannot sail the Dane down the course like he did to take Laser gold in Sydney ahead of Robert Scheidt 12 years ago.
In the Star, fourth place or better will guarantee the Brits gold ahead of Brazil's Scheidt and Bruno Prada and Swedish duo Fredrik Loof and Max Salminen.
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