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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Burton Delivers The Gold For Australia In Laser Class

Tom Burton should be nicknamed 'the magician' after snatching gold with one of the rarest of victories in the Olympic medal race of the men's Laser's in Rio. And in a double dose of celebration for the Australian sailing team, Sydney cousins Lisa Darmanin and Jason Waterhouse also came from behind on the leaderboard to claim silver in the Nacra 17 mixed medal race.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Burton's gold came with a genuine sigh of relief from the Australian Olympic team, who have suffered a plethora of near-misses and have waited three days for a seventh gold medal, following rowing's Kim Brennan's victory in the single sculls. With a gauranteed podium-finish secured before Tuesday's medal race, it appeared unlikely that Burton would be able to the shake overall leader, Tonci Stipanovic of Croatia.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
In order to win gold, Burton needed to finish five boats ahead of Stipanovic, who in-turn only needed to sit on the 25-year-old Australian's tail to claim his maiden gold medal.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
But in a stunning piece of water sport and sailing on the start line, Burton dropped under the Croation's guard, forcing Stipanovic to react by chasing hard and ultimately hitting the Australian's Laser. Stipanovic was forced into a penalty turn, leaving Burton to sprint and race to achieve the greatest moment of his career.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
"The percentage chances that I could pull it off was pretty slim,'' an ecastic Burton said after the race.
"You want to do it and you want it to come off, but we see this at many Olympics and many other championships, it's quite easy to slow a guy down. For the one move I needed to come off, that was critical to the race.''
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Burton, who trains out of the same Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Sydney which Darmanin and Waterhouse also reside, described his victory and journey to the top as "a long one.''
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
"Coming from when I first started winning in the Laser's through all the events and then a few years ago winning events and then having not such a great year last year and a tough selection to even be here,'' Burton said.
Photo: © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
"I few days ago, after the first day I thought I was nearly out of it after a bad day. But the amount of hours I put in, the things that I sacrificed, I missed my sister's wedding, I didn't go to the opening ceremony to try and get a good result and it's all worth it now.''

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