Athletes wait their whole lives for a shot at Olympic gold, so an extra day probably wasn't too big of a problem for competitors in the 470 sailing competition. The medal race in the men's 470 competition was supposed to be Thursday, but lack of wind forced the event to be postponed until today, when a squad from Australia won for the men and New Zealand earned gold on the women's side. Great Britain earned a pair of silvers.
After winning five of the 10 previous races in the event, Australia's Belcher and Page only needed to finish one spot below a British boat to secure gold. Instead, they finished second while the Brits finished fourth, earning Australia its third sailing gold of the Olympics, the best of any nation. Page had previously won gold in the 470 class in Beijing.
In the women's 470, the Southern Hemisphere was represented once again, as New Zealanders Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie coasted to victory. They had a commanding lead on points entering the final race and proceeded to blow away the competition, winning by 41 seconds. It's New Zealand's fourth gold of the Olympics, great news for a country that has apparently taken great pride in its medal count per capita. The competition here was really for bronze -- France was battling a Netherlands boat for that slot, but finished only one slot ahead when they needed to be two.
Men's 470 class
Gold: Matthew Belcher/Malcolm Page, Australia
Silver: Luke Patience/Stuart Bithell, Great Britain
Bronze: Lucas Calabrese/Juan de la Fuente, Argentina
Women's 470 class
Gold: Jo Aleh/Olivia Powrie, New Zealand
Silver: Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark, Great Britain
Bronze: Lisa Westerhof/Lobke Berkhout, Netherlands
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