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Tokyo Olympics, Sailing: Brazil takes women’s 49er gold as winds pick up


A brilliant performance in a thrilling medal race saw Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze win gold for Brazil in the women’s 49er FX sailing event at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour on Tuesday.

Tina Lutz and Susann Beucke came in second to secure the silver for Germany, with Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz taking the bronze for the Netherlands.

In second place coming into the medal race, the Brazilians kept their cool as the field battled for position, with the Dutch pairing, who started the race first in the overall standings, slipping down the field.

With the lowest points total winning the competition, Grael and Kunze finished the medal race in third behind the Argentinian and Norwegian crews for a total of 76 points to beat the Germans (83 points) and the Dutch (88 points) to take the gold.

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The women’s 49er FX race was one of a number postponed from Monday due to a lack of wind at the harbour, and competitors were glad to get out on the water as winds picked up on Tuesday after a day of inactivity.

“There wasn’t really any wind yesterday, so it’s good that the breeze has filled in and it looks like we’ll have nice conditions for racing,” British sailor Dylan Fletcher, who together with his 49er team-mate Stuart Bithell is currently in the silver medal position, told Reuters.

A weather forecast from governing body World Sailing predicts winds of 10 to 12 knots in the middle of the day.

World Sailing has previously said winds of at least six knots would be necessary to ensure fair competition.

Giles Scott won the gold medal for Britain in the men’s Finn class in sailing at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour on Tuesday.

Zsombor Berecz of Hungary took the silver medal, with Joan Cardona Mendez securing the bronze for Spain.



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