Day 6: First gold for Team GB
Published 20 August 2004
Britain has won its first gold medal of the Games with a convincing victory in the sailing as Shirley Robertson and her Yngling crew proved themselves to be untouchable with a race to spare. Robertson along with crew members Sarah Webb and Sarah Ayton will not need to compete in Saturday’s final as their nearest rivals, Denmark, trail by nine points, making it impossible for them to now overtake the British crew.
This is Robertson’s second successive Olympic gold medal and she doesn’t want to stop there. "What about a triple?", she said as she celebrated her latest victory. Team-mate Webb said: "It means absolutely everything, awesome. It’s not sunk in yet." While Ayton admitted: "It’s been hard work, but worth it."
Ben Ainslie will shoot for his second Olympic gold medal in the Finn class after clinching at least a silver with one race remaining. He holds a 14 point lead over current second placed Spanish rival Rafael Trujillo. Ainslie remained cautious however, saying: "I’ve got one race to go with a nice cushion on the Spanish guy but it’s not over yet – he’s still lingering." Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield will also take at least a silver in the 470 class.
In the badminton, mixed doubles pair Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms were disappointed after their medal quest ended with a silver yesterday. A tense final saw the British duo battle bravely back from a shaky start, but finally ended 15-1 12-15 15-12. "It was such a close final and we were leading in the third game," said Robertson. "I just think they were a bit more positive right at the end. That was the difference."
In the 70m archery, Laurence Godfrey narrowly missed out on another bronze medal for Britain after a third place play-off ended 113-112 in favour of Australia. "I am happy with anything. All I expected was to give 100% and do my best and it gave me fourth," said Godfrey.
And finally, confusion amongst officials has edged Britain out of a bronze medal place in the 200m backstroke event. James Goddard appeared to have won bronze as American Aaron Peirsol was disqualified for a freestyle kick at 150m. However, an appeal saw him re-instated due to "lack of information" and Britain’s counter protest was later rejected. Goddard, who clocked a time of 1:57.76 said: "I’m not happy really but I’ve got another four years and I’m sure I’ll be in Beijing."