Salem Radio Network News Tuesday, October 19, 2021


Olympics-Sailing-Britons bag two sailing golds, Brazil win women’s 49er FX

By Philip O’Connor

ENOSHIMA, Japan (Reuters) – Britain’s Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell scored a sensational victory in the men’s 49er class medal race to take gold on Tuesday, with Giles Scott winning another gold for the country in the men’s Finn class shortly afterwards.

In the only mixed racing class at the Games, Italy’s Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti won gold ahead of the British pairing of John Gimson and Anna Burnet, with Paul Kolhoff Alica Stuhlemmer bringing home the bronze for Germany.

In the first medal race of the day, Brazil’s reigning Olympic champions Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze won the women’s 49er FX event. Germany’s Tina Lutz and Susann Beucke took silver and Dutch sailors Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz picked up bronze.

In the final Olympic race for the Finn class, which will be dropped from subsequent Olympics after Tokyo 2020, Scott held off Zsombor Berecz of Hungary, who took the silver medal, and third-placed Joan Cardona Mendez.

British duo Fletcher and Bithell edged out 2016 Olympic champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke of New Zealand, who took the silver, with Germany’s Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel taking the bronze.

“It was close. I guess gold medals are often won on fine margins and so to do it there, I think it was fantastic, hopefully a good race for the fans … very stressful but amazing,” Fletcher told reporters.

In second place coming into the women’s medal race, the Brazilians kept their cool as the fleet battled for position, with the Dutch pairing, who started the race first in the overall standings, slipping down the fleet.

With the lowest total points winning the competition, Grael and Kunze finished with a total of 76 points, beating the Germans (83 points) and the Dutch (88 points) to take the gold.

“There was a lot of close points and we knew we just needed a clear lane to sail fast, and we managed to get that after the start and we’re very glad that it worked out,” Grael told reporters.

The two 49er medal races were among those postponed from Monday due to a lack of wind at the harbour, and competitors were glad to get out on the water after a day of inactivity as winds picked up on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Lincoln Feast, Karishma Singh and Himani Sarkar)


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