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Sailors win New Zealand’s fourth Olympic gold medal

Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie have won New Zealand’s fourth gold medal of London 2012, winning the women’s 470 class on Weymouth Bay.

 
 

silver fern

JO Aleh and Olivia Powrie have won New Zealand’s fourth gold medal of London 2012, winning the women’s 470 class on Weymouth Bay.

Known as Jolly and sailing a dinghy named Muppet, they become the first Kiwi sailors other than windsurfers to win Olympic gold since 1984.

The Aucklanders sailed superbly on the four courses used, and nailed their final outing in the double points race.

They were locked with Brits Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark in the battle for gold, but in the end it was no contests as the home side were well off the pace.

Mills and Clark started well in the five knot winds, but when the Kiwis tacked away, they decided not to follow, opening up a huge gap up the first beat.

By the first mark the gold had basically been decided, with the Brits trailing by 200m, Fairfax NZ reported.

The win then fell away to about two knots, making it all but impossible for the Brits to catch up.

On a day when everything went New Zealand’s way, officials then decided to shorten the course due to lack of wind, another nail in the British coffin.

New Zealand won the race, with Britain eventually crossing in ninth place as they took silver.

The pair teamed up to win the 420 world championships in 2007 but Aleh focused on the single-handed Laser Radial ahead of the Beijing Olympics, where she finished seventh.

They reunited again after Beijing, moving into the 470 class with great success, with a second, third and fourth at the past three world championships.

 

 
 

 

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