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17 August 2008, 08:47 am
AINSLIE Wins Third Olympic Gold In Finn Medal Race
Ben Ainslie
Ben Ainslie of Great Britain, sails to the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in big seas on Fushan Bay

2008 Beijing Olympic Games
Qingdao, China

Ben AINSLIE of Great Britain joined the list of sailing greats today as he raced to victory the Finn Medal Race at the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center to win his third consecutive Olympic gold medal.
Ben AINSLIE (GBR) led today's Finn Medal Race from start to finish in big seas and a strong 15 knot breeze. AINSLIE's Olympic tally of one silver and three gold medals put him alongside Valentin MANKIN and Jochen SCUEMANN. Only Danish sailing legend Paul ELVSTRÖM has won more Olympic gold medals, with the four he won between 1948 and 1960.

In big seas and a strong 15 knot breeze AINSLIE led at the top mark and controlled the race from there, extending on the upwind legs to take victory and the Olympic gold medal in style.

In yesterday's abandoned Finn Medal Race AINSLIE had match raced his closest rivals Zach RAILEY (USA) right to the back of the fleet in a bid to ensure gold. However in today's conditions the Brit just sailed away from the rest of the fleet, "I tried to keep my eye on the American during the start of the race. After a little while, I just went on and tried to sail my own race. I made some big gains during the second half of the first leg. The last downwind was a little scary. I kept telling myself, 'don't capsize, don't capsize'. All in all, this is my best last race in all of the four Olympics that I've participated in," AINSLIE said.

Reflecting on his fourth Olympic medal he added, "This feeling is truly amazing, and it's a massive relief. I could open the Champagne right now and rightfully so."

American Zach RAILEY finished sixth in the Medal Race, good enough to ensure he held on to the Olympic silver medal. Guillaume FLORENT of France won the battle for the bronze medal, finishing fourth in the Medal Race, crucially three places ahead of his bronze medal rival Daniel BIRGMARK of Sweden.

Full report to follow…

Overall Results - click here

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