Tom Slingsby redeems himself after Beijing disaster


Carlo Borlenghi / www.borlenghi.com / FIV
As Pavlos Kontides wins Cyprus' first ever Olypmic medal after today's Laser medal race
Four years after he went into Beijing the favourite to win Laser gold, only to go home without even making it to the medal race, so Tom Slingsby today righted the history books to win the first of what could be as many as four sailing Golds of this Olympic Games for Australia. Unlike the medal races for the Star and Finn where the positions going in were less definitive, in today’s Laser medal race there were two clear-cut match races going on. Slingsby and Pavlos Kontides were the only sailors in the running for gold and silver, with the Australian a useful, but by no means decisive, 14 points ahead of his Cypriot rival. Meanwhile the fight for bronze was more equal between Swede Rasmus Mygren and Croat Tonci Stipanović, with Mygren just one point ahead (or even in medal race terms, where each position is worth two points). With 17-18 knots blowing on the Nothe course, Slingsby engaged with Kontides in some pre-start match racing, but at the gun the two fell in mid-line with the Cypriot immediately to weather, while the Sweden v Croatia match was taking place at the committee boat end with Stipanović to weather. Off the line Kontides tacked and was followed by Slingsby as the other match race headed off to the left side. At the weather mark Slingsby was immediately ahead of his rival while Stipanović had broken clear of Mygren rounding fifth as the Swede trailed in 10th. On the run the Aussie and Cypriot boats gybed early and went off to do their own thing as Mygren closed in on Stipanović, rounding the leeward gate sixth and seventh, with Slingsby and Kontides by this time bringing up the rear. Up the second beat, Slingsby and Kontides remained locked as one as Stipanović and Mygren

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