Aug 04, 2021
Team GB won in the women’s 470 class with Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre and Australia at the top of the men’s 470 at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.
Hannah Mills has become the most successful female Olympic sailor in history: she has won her second gold and third consecutive medal in the Enoshima Harbour. In partnership with Eilidh McIntyre they finished fifth at the Medal Race, but still in the first overall position.
The pair has been dominating in the class, winning the World Championship in 2019. The British athletes were cautious of France and Poland, the closest challengers.
In fact, French Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz have submitted a formal protest against GB after the race. They allege Great Britain and Poland had conspired to ensure Poland moved ahead of Great Britain in the medal race, leaving France outside the silver. A verdict is still to be made on this decision.
If the verdict rules in favour of Great Britain this means Team GB will finish the regatta as the most successful nation in the sailing competitions with five olympic medals.
The 470 class will become a mixed event during the Paris 2024 Olympics. Sailing will take place in Marseille, meaning there is no possibility to continue the partnership in the Olympic Games. Mills, 33, has the option to follow Sir Ben Ainslie and gold medallist Giles Scott into inshore catamaran events like SailGP and the America’s Cup.
Sailors Mat Belcher and Will Ryan claimed the gold medal in the men’s 470. The pair only needed to avoid losing the Medal Race or being disqualified as they had the gold almost assured at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour. However, they ended up winning the Medal Race as well.
Before the start of the Medal Race the pair held a 20-point lead over Swedish duo Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergstrom. The battle for silver between the Swedish pair and the Spanish team ended up in the victory of the Swedish as they finished second in the medal race as well.
The Aussie pair stayed out of trouble at the start, then took over at the midpoint of the race and did not look back or stress over when crossing the finish line in first place to complete their dominant victory in the competition of the Tokyo Olympics.
The 470 class medal races mark an end to the sailing competitions in Enoshima. Earlier on this week the Nacra 17, 49er, 49er FX and Finn classes were disputed. Also, the Laser, Laser Radial and RS:X sailing medals have been decided.