19 August 2016
Australia’s sailors have finished Olympic competition in Rio with one gold medal and three silver after two crews claimed podium finishes on Day 13, while kayaker Ken Wallace is now paddling for history after picking up his third Olympic medal.
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan combined to take silver in the men’s 470 class, as did Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen in the 49ers.
Belcher and Ryan had won three world championships from 2013-2015, but had to work hard for silver in the final medal race. They edge out Greece but were unable to overtake Croatia.
Belcher, who claimed gold at the 2012 London Games with Malcolm Page, praised the unity of the Australian sailors. Tom Burton claimed gold in the Laser, while Lisa Darmanin and Jason Waterhouse were second in the Nacra 17.
"We've only had 11 athletes here and seven of us medalled,” Belcher told the ABC. “We had 13 athletes in London and eight of us medalled.
"It's a real credit to our support staff, team directors our management to be able to support us how we needed it.
"That's what's kept me campaigning, I love that environment and I love working with these guys."
Outteridge and Jensen were fourth in the 49er medal race, enough to guarantee silver behind New Zealand, with Germany taking bronze.
Meanwhile, Ken Wallace claimed his third Olympic medal when he teamed with Lachlan Tame to take bronze in the K2 1000.
Wallace won gold and bronze at the Beijing Games in 2008 and is now equal with kayak champion Clint Robinson, who also has three Olympic medals - gold, silver and bronze. While Wallace is a veteran of the sport, Tam only took it up seriously in 2010.
Wallace gets another shot at a medal in Rio when he joins Australia’s K4 1000 team which is aiming to defend its Olympic title.
Australia has plenty of action to look forward to on day 14, including: Sam Willoughby and Caroline Buchanan riding for medals in the BMX; Jared Tallent’s quest for gold in the 50km walk; and the Australian Boomers taking on Serbia in the semi-final of the men’s basketball.