What a day on the water. Australia took gold early in the day in the Laser class through Peter Slingsby so they’d be happy about that but the big news is the unannounced gold some minutes ago. It can’t be announced until the Medal Races are over in a few days but basically, at the end of the fleet racing today, they are in an unassailable points situation. That just hasn’t happened before.
However, the rules state that they must still take part in the Medal Races, so they’ll have a conservative sail round the course three times and that will be that.
As sportsmanship is something South Africans are known for, I’m sure my South African friend who was most gracious about Team GB’s victory over the Australians will be equally as gracious here so, on behalf of him, I use the exact phraseology he sent me for the Australian effort today:
From the off, they grabbed the race by the scruff of the neck, and said, ‘ours I think, we’ll have that.’ They tore off the line like a freight train on meth, and by half of the first lap, there was no question who was going to win. And they never let up. They absolutely controlled the race, and played with their opponents. The [rest of the field] were shell-shocked, they never knew what hit them, and they were made to look like bumbling first time amateurs.”
The Australians will thank you for those kind words. The double gold means Australia jumps four places, pushing South Africa down to 14th and I’m sure my friend will be gracious about that too. I think they’re just ahead of Ethiopia at this time, so that’s a relief for them. Better luck next time for South Africa.
Oh and well done to us for the Equestrian gold. Is there no end to Team GB’s medals?
Now that we’ve got that bit of stick out of the way, in all seriousness, if our efforts in the cycling and sailing and the Australian efforts in the sailing [which has tripled their gold medal tally] have the effect they should, then a hell of a lot more people will take to the waterways in sailing craft and to the roads and tracks on bicycles. That can only be good.
Meanwhile, we might have to do a bit of cheering for the U.S. in order to get them ahead of China. It would be unthinkable for China to head the table at the end.
It’s probably also time for a huge push to get wimmin onto bikes.