Sail-World.com : London Olympics 2012: Laser - Lead taken, history made on day 7
London Olympics 2012: Laser - Lead taken, history made on day 7
London Olympics 2012 Sailing competition, Weymouth - Laser class.
Sailor Tom Slingsby of Australia notched up double bullets to snag a commanding lead into the Laser Medal Race but Pavlos Kontides (CYP) is guaranteed at least the silver medal, the first Olympic medal for any Cypriot athlete.
With 21 points separating Kontides in second and Rasmus Myrgren (SWE) in third the Cypriot is guaranteed to win a medal, the first for any athlete from Cyprus.
'This is the greatest day of my life,' said an elated Kontides. 'I still don't believe what's happened. When I saw all the media and my compatriots celebrating then I understood my huge achievement.'
Kontides has put a 21 point gap between him and Mygren which means that even if he failed to finish the Medal Race and the Swede won, the Cypriot would have 61 points to Mygren's 62.
But the Cypriot isn't one to settle for second place and has his eyes on gold despite a 14 point difference between him and leader Slingsby, 'We still have Monday's Medal Race and mathematically gold is still possible. I just have to relax and clear my head and try to sail my best on Monday and try the possibility for gold. It's going to be hard, it's a lot of points but it's still possible.
'I am pretty sure that Tom will probably match race and really keep close to me because he needs to pull me out of top three for gold. I have to think of a tactic or something how I would be able to escape for him and then try to put places in between us.'
Knowing the nation of Cyprus will be watching him in the Medal Race he said, 'That will feel really amazing and I will try to give my best so they can enjoy the sailing and learn what it's all about.'
Slingsby will take a strong lead into the Medal Race after he notched up two bullets in the final fleet races. On his day he said, 'It was the perfect day, two firsts. I did all I could do to get a better lead and Pavlos had a pretty good day but I've extended on him a little.'
With the Medal Race on the Nothe Slingsby will have to be careful after his worst performance came on the course, 'For the Medal Race I've got to have one good race. Yesterday I sailed on that course and had a 15th, my worst race, so it's a tricky course. I've got to have a good race and make sure I do it.'
The battle for bronze will be an exciting watch with one point separating Mygren and Tonci Stipanovic (CRO). Stipanovic had a disappointing penultimate day with a 6-15 and slipped out of the podium places so it's all on the Medal Race.
The Laser Medal Race commences at 14:00 local time on the Nothe Course on Monday 6 August.
1. Tom Slingsby (AUS) - 25pts
2. Pavlos Kontides (CYP) - 39pts
3. Rasmus Myrgren (SWE) - 60pts
4. Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) - 61pts
5. Andrew Murdoch (NZL) - 79pts
Click here for full results
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6:55 PM Sat 4 Aug 2012GMT
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