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Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern Compete in 49er Medal Race To Seal Best Olympic Performance

18th August 2016
Irish Olympic Sailing News
Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern race for Ireland in the 49er medal race today Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern race for Ireland in the 49er medal race today Photo: World Sailing

Northern Ireland's Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern gave themselves a great medal race boost by winning the final race of their qualification series in the 49er class on Tuesday.  It was their second race win of the 12–race series. The Ballyholme Yacht Club pair are eighth overall on 103 points, some 33–points off the bronze medal position for today's race. Double points are at stake in today's medal race at 5pm (Irish time).

The best the Northern Irish pair can do is fifth overall as there are 33 points between themselves and third with only 20 points available. There are 23 points between fourth and eighth, but only 11 between fifth and eighth. The best possible result is to finish six places ahead of DEN, four ahead of FRA and three ahead of ARG.

In a week of high's for Irish sailing, their inclusion in today's climax is another major success for Irish Olympic sailing because – quite apart from Annalise's Olympic Silver medal performance and her fourth at London 2012 – if they can hold on to eighth it will be Ireland's only top eight finish overall since 1980. Seaton and McGovern finished 14th overall at their first Olympics in London four years ago having been in medal contention at the half way stage in Weymouth.

Overall, this means Rio represents Ireland's best ever Sailing Olympics by a long chalk.

Today, in the 49er class, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) have already won the gold medal, and did it with two races to spare after dominating the 20-boat fleet at Rio 2016 over the past week. The New Zealanders have gone undefeated in major competition in the 49er fleet since taking the silver medal at London 2012. They have won all four of the last World Championships and were expected to deliver gold for New Zealand this week. Even Burling and Tuke might be surprised at the ease with which they've managed their extraordinary feat, however.

Behind them the battle rages on for the other medals, with Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER) holding second place in front of the 2012 Olympic Champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS).

Published in Olympic

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