Sailing pairs eye Olympic gold

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Stuart Bithell, left, and Luke Patience are competing for gold in the 470 class on Friday // Stuart Bithell, left, and Luke Patience are competing for gold in the 470 class on Friday
Stuart Bithell, left, and Luke Patience are competing for gold in the 470 class on Friday
Sailors Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell hope Friday will prove golden for Great Britain as they vie for the 470 title before Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark look to win the women's crown.
Both British pairs head into the day with a realistic chance of winning gold, with Patience and Bithell mathematically assured of at least silver. They are still aiming to wrestle gold off Australia's Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page in the medal race, which was slated for Thursday afternoon but will now take place at midday.
Mills and Clark will also be looking to take top honours an hour later and enter the women's 470 medal race level at the top of the standings alongside New Zealand's Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie.
"It could be a golden day for GB," Bithell said, with Patience adding: "That's what everyone is hoping. I think it (yesterday's delay) puts the ball in our court a little bit if we wait a bit longer.
"As we said the whole time, we have no pressure. It is win-win and I imagine if the Aussies are feeling anything, it is more discomfort than we are.
"The longer it draws out maybe it is a good thing for us and a worse thing for them. I am speculating here but it certainly isn't a problem for me and Stuart.
"Stuart was just saying earlier, this is our home. We have lived here for five years and we'll live here again once this is over. It is no skin off our back."
Like Patience and Bithell, Mills and Clark are also assured of silver - as long as they are not disqualified or black flagged in the medal race.
Their coach Joe Glanfield, himself a double Olympic silver medallist, has been proud of the reigning world champion's performance on the south coast and backed them for more success on Friday.
"They will be delighted to be in this situation, they will love the opportunity to race the Kiwis and try to get that gold medal," he said.
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