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18 August 2008, 04:14 am
Denmark Confirmed As Gold Medal Winners In 49er
Jonas Warrer (L) and Martin Kirketerp Ibsen of Denmark
Olympic gold medallists Jonas Warrer (L) and Martin Ibsen of Denmark

2008 Beijing Olympic Games
Qingdao, China

The Danish crew of Jonas WARRER and Martin IBSEN have won the gold medal in the Skiff - 49er event at the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition after an agonising 19-hour wait on a protest decision affecting Sunday's Medal Race.
The Danish crew of Jonas WARRER and Martin IBSEN broke their mast shortly before Sunday's 49er Medal Race, but returned to the marina, borrowed a boat from the Croatian team (who had not qualified for the Medal Race) and went on to finish seventh in the race to win the gold medal.

However the Race Committee protested the Danes for borrowing the Croatian boat. If the Danish team had been disqualified from the race they would have dropped from first to fourth overall and out of the medal position. After a Jury hearing that ran late into Sunday night and then continued this morning. Shortly before midday today, John DOERR, chair of the Jury panel that heard the hearing, confirmed that the Protest had been dismissed and the provisional results were made official. The full decision and a statement from the Jury will be published after today's Medal Races.

This means Denmark wins gold, 2004 Athens gold medallists Iker MARTINEZ and Xabier FERNANDEZ of Spain win silver and German brothers Jan-Peter PECKOLT and Hannes PECKOLT won bronze.

After the decision was announced, IBSEN, clearly exhausted after a sleep-ness night, said that during the past 24 hours he had gone through the full range of emotions. "I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. You're down, you're up, you're down. You think you win, you lose. In my heart I hoped for it, but that's one thing. Another thing is what will happen in the Jury room," he said.

Reflecting on yesterday's incredible Medal Race he added, "It's unreal. We snapped the mast, we go in, we take the Croatian boat. We make the start with 4 seconds. If we had been 4 seconds later we wouldn't have been Olympic Champions. And then the protest and the postponement of the protest. Everything is just unreal."

If the Danes had been disqualified from the race MARTINEZ and FERNANDEZ would have been crowned Olympic Champions for the second time. However after the Jury's decision was announced the Spanish congratulated and paid tribute to the Danes in a great act of sportsmanship. "Now I'm just thinking how important for us it is to win a second medal," said MARTINEZ. "The first thing I did was to say congratulations to the Danish guys; they are the new Olympic Champions. They sailed very well and I have to say to them they did a really good job. Congratulations to them and we are very happy to have our second Olympic medal."

Read our full report on yesterday's incredible 49er Medal Race here.

You can read the full decision when it is posted in our Protests & Communications section here.

The medal ceremony for the Skiff event will take place later today.

Overall Results - click here

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