Australians collect first two sailing golds of Games

18th August 2008, Comments 0 comments

Australian crews won the men's and women's two person 470 dinghy races at Monday to register the country's first sailing gold medals of the Beijing Games.

18 August 2008

QINGDAO - Australian crews won both the men's and women's two person 470 dinghy races at Qingdao Monday to register the country's first sailing Olympic gold medals of the Beijing Games.

Three-time 470 world champions Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page easily defended their 22-point lead in the final day's racing, winning men's gold with a total of 44 points from 11 races.

Great Britain's Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield took silver with 75 points while French pair Nicolas Charbonnier and Olivier Bausset claimed bronze with 78.

"We sailed stable and conservatively throughout this regatta and we tried to stay in single digit numbers," said Wilmot. "At the end we did better than we hoped."

The pair will retire from 470 sailing after the Olympics and Page said the wait for a first Olympic medal had been worthwhile.

"We waited a long time for this medal. All the efforts that we put in finally paid off and we got what we waited for," he said.

Elise Rechichi and Tessa Parkinson secured Australia's second gold of the day with a total of 43 points from their 11 races in the women's event.

Silver went to Marcelien de Koning and Lobke Berkhout with 53 points while Brazil's Fernanda Oliveira and Isabel Swan secured bronze with 60 points. 180656 GMT Aug 08

Earlier, Jonas Warrer and Martin Ibsen were informed that they will keep the gold medal they won in Sunday's skiff dinghy-49 sailing event after the Olympic regatta's international jury turned down protests over the Danes borrowing a boat for their final race.

The pair won gold Sunday ahead of Spain's Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez, with German brothers Jan-Peter and Hannes Peckolt on bronze.

However, an inquiry was initiated after several protests, including from race organizers, because they used a boat borrowed from the Croatian team after they broke a mast on the way to the start of the final race, which took place with waves of up to two metres.

The decision was welcomed in sailing circles with German team head, Hans Sendes, echoing the views of many when he described the ruling as being "for the benefit of the sport".

[dpa / Expatica]

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