Saxton refuses to give up on Rio 2016 sailing medal hope

Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves in action in Rio / Picture by Richard Langdon - British Sailing
Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves in action in Rio / Picture by Richard Langdon - British Sailing
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Defiant Nacra 17 duo Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves insisted, “It’s not over until it’s over” after a disappointing day in Rio on Sunday.

Two 15th-place finishes and a 12th for the Brits on Sunday left Itchenor Sailing Club member Saxton and Groves with only an outside shot of a medal in Tuesday’s double points medal race as they sit in eighth place overall, with 19 points separating them and Thomas Zajac and Tanja Frank (AUT), who currently sit in the bronze-medal position.

Saxton and Groves, who are making their first ever appearance at an Olympic Games, started their Games with a bang, posting all scores in the first half of their event inside the top seven.

But they have not been able to sustain that form into the final six series races and now have to win the medal race and hope the stars align perfectly for them to end their Games on the podium.

Saxton said: “It’s not over until it’s over, we have to go out and win the medal race so we will attack it and try to get the win.

“Today was tough for us. Looking at the event as a whole, we started really well for the first few days and were in a medal position the whole time. We messed up yesterday a little bit, but still were good enough to be in the medals, but today it didn’t quite run for us and we are left to look back at some errors.

The rest of the noise, like the opening ceremony, Olympic rings and fans, put a smile on your face but it is about racing against the best in the world and trying to be the best in the world, that’s the bit I’m hooked on.

Ben Saxton

“Ultimately it has been a wicked experience, you got to look at the good as well as the bad but right now I am pretty gutted.”

The Nacra 17 catamaran was a new class for Rio and, as expected, has provided some of the most exhilarating racing of these Games. Reflecting on he and Groves’ first Games experience, Saxton added.

“I love it, I’m absolutely hooked on the Games, the whole thing is awesome. For me it’s all about the sailing. The rest of the noise, like the opening ceremony, Olympic rings and fans, put a smile on your face but it is about racing against the best in the world and trying to be the best in the world, that’s the bit I’m hooked on.”

The Nacra 17 medal race is scheduled for to take place on the Pão de Açucar (Sugarloaf) course from 2pm BST on Tuesday.

To follow the team’s fortunes at Rio 2016 visit www.rya.org.uk/Rio2016, follow @BritishSailing on Twitter and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/britishsailingteam

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