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GBR Limbo to top Olympic sailing nation

It came down to 2 seconds to limbo the GBR Sailing team to the top of the Rio Olympic medal rankings with just two medals.

Two seconds was the time the Brazilian 49erFX crew beat the Kiwi crew by to claim the final sailing gold, and edge the GBR sailing team to the top of the meadal table.

Not that it takes a lot to head the sailing medal table as the bar is lowered year on year.

In 2008 Britain topped the table with 4 gold and a total of 5 medals.

In 2012 Australia topped the table with 3 gold and a total of 4 medals (GBR 1 gold, 4 medal total)

This year Britain topped the table with just 2 gold and a total of 3 medals.

Note that Olympic medal table rankings are based on golds won, in overall medals Britain placed third behind Australia and New Zealand.

So why were the RYA (who run the British sailing team) so keen to claim top position, even though they have achieved it with a record low number of golds and total medals?

Well, it could be the way sailing and other British Olympic teams are funded.

In order to receive future Lottery funding (via UK Sport) the target set was to win three or four medals in Rio.

So, the target was achieved (3 total) and topping the medal table - Nick Dempsey's silver giving GBR the edge on the Netherlands two golds - was a media publicity bonus.

So all's well that ends well ?

Maybe not for team manager Stephen Park who was recently quoted as saying that:

"Would I rather have two gold medals and top the medal table or would I rather have eight silvers?"

"I think I’d rather have eight silvers because I think that that shows me that I’ve fielded a team of sailors in all the classes that are competitive.”

So, I guess this result leaves him feeling rather low.

Maybe that is why he is interested in switching to managing the Cycling Team!

Roll on Tokyo 2020 . . .

2016 Sailing Medal Table - G - S - B - Total

1. Great Britain - 2 - 1 - 0 - 3
2. Netherlands - 2 - 0 - 0 - 2
3. Australia - 1 - 3 - 0 - 4
4. New Zealand - 1 - 2 - 1 - 4
5. Croatia - 1 - 1 - 0 - 2
6. France - 1 - 0 - 2 - 3
7. Argentina 1 - 0 - 0 - 1
7. Brazil - 1 - 0 - 0 - 1

Note:

The GBR sailing team received £25.5 million in funding to prepare for Rio. The fourth largest amount behind Rowing, Cycling and Athletics.

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Gerald New - Sailweb
20 August 2016 21:58 GMT


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