Ainslie may not try for fifth gold

06 August 2012 / 08:19

British sailing hero Ben Ainslie has refused to commit to another Olympic campaign after securing his fourth straight gold medal.

The 35-year-old successfully overhauled the race leader, Denmark's Jonas Hogh-Christensen, with a thrilling final race at Weymouth to become the most decorated Olympic sailor of all time. But when asked whether he would consider another campaign to try to match Sir Steve Redgrave's haul of five gold medals, Ainslie left a question mark hanging over it.

"It's never going to get any better than this - winning a gold medal in front of a home crowd," he told BBC News. "Rio, in four years' time, is a long way off. With so many emotions (now), it's difficult to be pinned down. The boat is definitely getting too old - it's now done three Olympics."

Ainslie added: "It's hard when everyone expects you to go out and win easily. Hearing the crowd roar in that final race was a huge inspiration."

The sailor said the gold medal had been "on a knife edge" after he was on the back foot for the first six races as Hogh-Christensen built a commanding lead at one point.

"It's really tough. I knew it was gong to be tough. People were saying it was going to be easy but I knew it was going to be tough.

"The final race was on a knife-edge. It was a huge thrill to do it with a home crowd - that was an incredible experience."