Brit duo eager to take up Rio challenge

10 August 2012 / 17:15

Sailers Great Britain's Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell are ecstatic to have secured a silver medal on their Olympic debut - and are already targeting an upgrade in four years time.

After Thursday's medal race was postponed due to light wind, the British sailing duo took to the water on Friday afternoon eyeing top spot with second place already assured.

They were, though, unable to wrestle gold off Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page and leave London 2012 with a silver medal - which they celebrated with a post-race dunk in Weymouth Bay with the Australian pair and Argentina's bronze medallists Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente.

"It has not quite sunk in yet in all the excitement of the crowd and finishing the race, swimming around with the other medallists," Bithell said.

"It feels brilliant. We were saying before that we kind of had the silver medal two days ago and we knew that, but we have been trying to compress that feeling to hopefully try and get better. But it is over now, we got a silver medal and we are just so happy - so happy to achieve what we set out to do in our head 10 years ago and the last three years together."

Skipper Patience added: "It has been a lot of years' hard work and we've just come to the scene this week. Us and the Aussies have just been miles ahead of the fleet and just racing more accurately, sailing the boats faster and really putting our foot down and showing what we can do.

"We are sailing the boats better than anyone, us two teams, and that is encouraging. It's like any sport. The margins are so tiny yet we've managed to make the margins pretty big this week.

"We take that on and we can finally say that. We wouldn't say that halfway through the week and maybe curse it, but the four of us are sailing the boats better than anyone in the world and that is a cool thing."

Patience and Bithell will celebrate silver long into the night but already revealed a motivation to win gold will see them stay together for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

"I can't wait for Rio," Patience said. "Bring it on, I want an upgrade. We'll be there in four years time, providing we don't die in a plane crash or anything like that."