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Rio Olympics - The first medal races are looming for GBR

After six days of racing at the Rio Games, four events have reached the medal race stage - the RS:X, the Laser and the Radial - but GBR prospects do not look great.

Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves GBR - Click image for a larger image

In these four events Britain is assured of a silver in the men's RS:X and a possible bronze in the men's Laser.

Not the result that was hoped for with two reigning world champions involved.

Nick Thompson in the Laser has really failed to grasp the opportunity that he has waited so long for, his back to back world championships counting for nothing in this arena.

Although ther will be a battle for the Laser medals on Monday, Tonci Stipanovic CRO is sure of at least a silver and Tom Burton AUS at least a bronze.

Thompson could grab bronze if he wins the medal race on Monday and Kiwi Sam Meech is 6th or worse.

Although a certain Robert Scheidt might have something to say about that - he is on the same points as Thompson and desperate to make the podium at his home Olympics.

In the Radial event, Alison Young just never semed to be at ease in the conditions, despite the time the British team have spent here.

The Netherland’s Marit Bouwmeester has an eight point lead from Anne-Marie Rindom of Denmark with Ireland's Annalise Murphy in third. All could take the gold.

Bryony Shaw came to Rio vowing to take gold this time but the spark was just not there. A better second half secured her an RS:X medal race spot but too far back to raise any hopes.

Italy's Flavia Tartaglini and Russia's Stefania Elfutina are tied in the lead for RS:X gold with Peina Chen CHN, Charline Picon FRA and Maayan Davidovich ISR all looking for podium places.

We will now have to see if anything can be salvaged from the medal races, where the location and conditions may have more effect than the efforts of the competitors.

In the events still in the qualification stage, only Giles Scott in the Finn looks to be secure of a podium place at this stage.

With two races to go he has a 16 point lead from Vasilij Zbogar SLO, with Jake Lilley AUS in third.

Still plenty of racing to go in the men's 49er, but at the halfway stage Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign are placed 12th with only two results in single figures.

New Zealand's Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are, as expected, leading the 49er, but facing tougher competition than usual, only winning two of the six races to date.

They lead by two points from Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel of Germany.

Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth GBR - Click image for a larger image

Better prospects in the women's 49erFX event where Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth are in sixth place after six races.

The Danish pair Jena Hansen and Katja Steen Salskov-Iversen lead by seven points from Brazil's Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze, who are tied on points with Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech of New Zealand.

In the Nacra17 Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves are fighting a tough patch after a great start.

They are tied on points with Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli ARG and just three points off the leaders, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin of Australia.

Sunday there are the two RS:X medal races and qualifying races for the Finn, Nacra17 and the two 470 events (which are looking good for GBR so far).

The Laser and Radial medal races will take place on Monday.

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Gerald New - Sailweb
13 August 2016 21:57 GMT


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