Aussies Belcher, Malcolm win 470 sailing gold

10 August 2012 09:16

Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page of Australia lived up to their favourites' status with a gold medal run in the men's 470 sailing at the Olympic Games on Friday.

The Australians finished second in the deciding medal race to secure the gold in the two-man dinghy class -- the final race coming a day late after light winds prompted officials to cancel sailing on Thursday.

Their closest opposition, British Olympic newcomers Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell, pushed them in the medal race but finished fourth on the day to settle for silver.

Bronze went to Argentina's Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente, who were third in the medal race won by Croatians Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic.

Belcher and Page had led by four points going into the medal race, so Patience and Bithell would have had to beat them by two places to snatch the gold.

Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie won the women's 470, giving New Zealand a first sailing gold of these Games.

They started the medal race level on points with Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark of Britain but had the gold medal secured before the race was half over.

The British crew finished ninth after being caught on the wrong side of a big wind shift on the first leg and took silver.

A sixth in the medal race for Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout of the Netherlands was enough to snaffle the bronze.