Lucas not taking gold for granted

05 September 2012 / 18:17

Helena Lucas will sail for 2.4mR gold on Thursday safe in the knowledge that she will leave London 2012 with at least a silver medal.

The 37-year-old - the only woman in the one-person keelboat fleet - boasts a nine-point cushion over second-placed German Heiko Kroger heading into the final race. Lucas recorded an eighth and fifth on Wednesday to put her in a strong position heading into race 11, although she will not be taking anything for granted.

"Having led for most of the week, I've obviously got my eye firmly set on the gold medal but I'm not too excited yet as I still know there is a job to do," she said.

"I've got a nice points cushion so I will go out there, enjoy the race and keep my eye on Heiko. I don't think the boys in the fleet were too happy at the beginning of the week with a girl leading, but I think they have got used to the fact I'm up there and sailing really well.

"I think they are resigned to the fact they have got a bit of a job on their hands to beat me tomorrow."

Prior to London 2012, Great Britain had not won a Paralympic sailing medal since the sport joined the Paralympic programme at Sydney 2000. That, though, will change with Lucas guaranteed at least silver and the British SKUD crew assured of bronze.

Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell currently sit third, two points behind Jen French and JP Creignou of the United States heading into the final race. It will be a two-way tussle for silver as Australia's Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch hold an unassailable lead in gold medal position.

"Congratulations to the Australians they have sailed a good regatta," Birrell said.

"Alex and I obviously wanted that gold medal so are a bit disappointed right now. We've got a bronze medal in the bag and are going to wake up in the morning and fight as hard as we can against the Americans for silver, which is the best we can do now."