OLYMPIC GAMES: Super sailor Giles Scott captures gold in dream Olympic Games debut
- Credit: Archant
Huntingdon sailor Giles Scott joined the Great Britain gold-rush at the Olympic Games tonight.
The 29 year-old, who grew up in the town and first learned to sail at Grafham Water, clinched Finn class glory with a race to spare.
Scott, a four-time world champion who is now based in Weymouth, has enjoyed a wonderful Olympic debut in Rio when he ensured gold by finishing in eighth and second places in the two races today.
Those results left him in an unassailable position at the top of the standings ahead of the medal race, which is worth double points, on Tuesday.
He said: “I know what it means to me because I know how it made me feel towards the last stages of that final race.
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“I found myself welling up and in tingles as it slowly dawned on me what I had done.
“I wouldn’t put myself down as the emotional sort but I had a little cry to myself, which I like to think I don’t do that often.
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“The emotions come out of you in that situation which you can’t really prepare yourself for. It was amazing.
“If you had asked me beforehand if I would win the Olympic Games with a race to spare I would have said absolutely not because Rio is such a tough venue.
“I have just managed to sail more consistently than everyone else at the top of the fleet and that has landed me in this brilliant situation where I have the points gap before the medal race.
“It’s just a privilege to be in this position.”
Scott’s victory means that Great Britain have won the Finn men’s heavyweight dinghy class as the last five Olympics after triumphs from Iain Percy (Sydney 2000) and Ben Ainslie (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012).
And Scott was quick to pay tribute to his coach, Matt Howard, with whom he delivered the perfect four-year campaign after the disappointment of missing out on London 2012 selection to Ainslie, the man whose huge shoes he has now filled so well.
Scott added: “Matt and I decided the way we wanted to campaign was flat out, we weren’t going to go soft on any regattas that we went to, anything we went to we wanted to win and win it in style.
“That approach is great but it does put a target on your back. To be able to maintain that gap and to come into the Olympics and win with a race to spare, it just gives huge justification for those decisions we made early on.”
The medal race in the Finn class takes place on Tuesday.