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After two Laser World Championship wins, Tom Slingsby bombed at the Games. So where is he going now?
Tom Slingsby’s track record through the Laser class has been something of a rollercoaster ride. Prior to the last Olympics the Australians appeared to be among the strongest in the class with the young Slingsby clashing swords with the older and more experienced Michael Blackburn. The upshot was that Slingsby won the World Championships in both 2007 and 2008 and appeared to be the favourite for the Beijing Games. But come the big event in Qingdao he bombed, coming home 22nd. So what happened? "I still don’t know exactly the right answer," Slingsby told thedailysail. "I just didn’t have any speed and if you don’t have speed you can’t hold lanes and if you can’t hold lanes you can’t go where you want to go and all week I was just forced where I didn’t want to go and even when I thought I was going the right way it wasn’t the right way. So it was one of those disaster weeks. And I think I have been pretty low on confidence for the last year since that." He admits that Qingdao wasn’t the ideal venue for him. At the test events he finished fourth and ninth, BFD during the medal race in the latter. He admits he could never compete in China with the eventual gold medal winner, Paul Goodison, as he was always heavier. For the Games Slingsby says he was down to 75kg, some 10kg lighter than his normal fighting weight. "I thought it would be a different story, but I actually had my worst regatta. Obviously you learn a lot more from losing than winning and it shows you how you don’t want to feel after an Olympics. I was down in the gutters for a while and I don’t want to be like that come 2012.