Please select your home edition
Edition
Ovington 2021 - ILCA 1 - LEADERBOARD

Tokyo2020: Kiwis miss Bronze medal by a single place

by Michael Brown / Yachting NZ 4 Aug 15:45 BST 5 August 2021
Final leg - Mens 470 Medal Race - Tokyo2020 - Day 10 - August 4, , Enoshima, Japan © Richard Gladwell - Sail-World.com / nz

Finishing fourth at an Olympics Games is one of the hardest things for any competitor and Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox were hurting after missing out on a medal by the narrowest of margins today, but they will also look back on their regatta with immense pride.

The pair came into today's top-10, double-points medal race needing to finish with two boats between them and the Spanish. They fought, they clawed, they jabbed and they scrapped but ultimately ended up third in the race and Spain fifth, meaning they were an agonising two points short of claiming New Zealand's second sailing medal at these Olympics.

Heightening the emotions was the fact it was probably the last time Snow-Hansen and Willcox sail together in a 470 after nine years as a partnership. It was an end of an era for the pair and an end of an era for the class given the 470 will become a mixed event for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

"We were working pretty hard in that race so I wasn’t sure if I was feeling emotional or was just light-headed from lack of oxygen," Snow-Hansen said before Willcox chipped in: "I was feeling pretty light-headed just from being cooked.

"We went out swinging. We’re really proud of the way we fought in that medal race but it’s obviously a bitter pill to swallow not quite getting across the line.

"It will probably be one of those ones that festers away and sinks in over time. I’m sure it will be a bitter pill for us to swallow for a while but over the nine years we have racked up some highlight results and will reflect back on those highlights with pride."

They should.

Earlier this year they won the 470 European championships against the Olympic fleet and they also finished second at a world championships and won a World Cup event.

They came into these Games with high ambitions and had clearly found a click of speed across a range of conditions off the back of the hard work they had been doing back in New Zealand with training partners Simon Cooke and Andre Van Dam over the last 18 months.

Australia were a class above in winning gold, but there was little between the next three - Sweden, Spain and New Zealand - and it was a shame one had to miss out on a spot on the podium.

Much to the Kiwi pair's chagrin, the onshore wind blowing down Sagami Bay today probably wasn't light enough or fickle enough for them to really spice things up as the top four sailed to the front of the fleet for most of the medal race.

"In that sort of stuff it’s quite hard to get the chaotic situations where you can pop out with quite big points between the boats," Snow-Hansen said. "Hats off to some of these guys who sailed a solid regatta. It was close but no cigar."

It means the New Zealand sailing team conclude the Olympic regatta with the silver medal won by Peter Burling and Blair Tuke in the 49er yesterday, a couple of near misses with both the men's 470 and Josh Junior in the Finn and the other three boats finishing in the top 12.

The Paris Olympics don't seem that far off, given these Tokyo Games were delayed by a year, but for now the team will reflect on and celebrate what they have achieved.

Results and standings after the final day of the Olympic sailing regatta in Enoshima:

Men's 470 (19 boats)

1st: Matt Belcher / Will Ryan (AUS) 2 5 1 1 4 3 2 1 2 (8) 2 - 23 pts 2nd: Anton Dahlberg / Fredrik Bergstrom (SWE) 1 (15) 8 5 6 11 1 5 3 1 4 - 45 pts 3rd: Jordi Xammar / Nicolas Garcia-Paz (ESP) 10 1 10 6 (14) 1 3 2 5 7 10 - 55 pts

4th: Paul Snow-Hansen / Dan Willcox (NZL) 6 2 7 7 5 7 (13) 8 6 3 6 - 57 pts

Women's 470 (21 boats)

1st: Hannah Mills / Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) 4 3 (7) 1 3 3 1 3 (9) 3 10 - 38 pts 2nd: Agnieszka Skrzypulec / Jolanta Ogar (POL) 1 1 2 5 13 1 5 4(15) 15 8 - 54 pts 3rd: Camille Lecointre / Aloise Retornaz (FRA) 3 2 4 7 1 (12) 6 5 10 4 12 - 54 pts

For full results click here

Related Articles

49er and FX Medal Races postponed until Tuesday
Due to a lack of wind in Enoshima on Monday Due to a lack of wind in Enoshima on Monday, the 49er and 49erFX medal races have been postponed until Tuesday. They will be added to the program that includes the Nacra 17 Medal race. Posted on 2 Aug
Tokyo 2020 enters operational delivery mode
The 11th and final meeting of the IOC's Coordination Commission The 11th and final meeting of the IOC's Coordination Commission for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 concluded today, and it has become clearer than ever that these Games will be safe for everyone participating and the Japanese people. Posted on 21 May
Tokyo 2020 confirms venues, competition schedule
Marking a significant step for the organisers, with only one year to go The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee announced at Friday's virtual IOC Session that all the venues intended for the Games in 2020 have been secured for next year, and confirmed the sports competition schedule. Posted on 18 Jul 2020
New dates for Tokyo 2020 announced
Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held 23 July - 8 August 2021 The IOC, IPC, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Government of Japan today agreed new dates for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, in 2021. Posted on 30 Mar 2020
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games postponed
Conclusion reached that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad must be rescheduled The President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, and the Prime Minister of Japan, Abe Shinzo, held a conference call this morning to discuss the constantly changing environment with regard to COVID-19 and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Posted on 24 Mar 2020
IOC statement on the coronavirus
IOC expressed its full commitment to the success of the Olympic Games The IOC EB heard a report on all the measures taken so far to address the coronavirus situation, which was followed by a comprehensive discussion. Posted on 3 Mar 2020
Ready Steady Tokyo day 6
Light winds mar final day of Olympic test event in Enoshima, Japan Just one Medal Race could be sailed on Day 6 of Ready Steady Tokyo - Sailing, the official test event for Tokyo 2020 in Enoshima. Only the 470 Women's Medal Race went ahead, starting just after 16:00 local time. Posted on 22 Aug 2019
Ready Steady Tokyo day 5
China dominate RS:X class racing in Enoshima, Japan Five Medal Races took place on the fifth day of racing at Ready Steady Tokyo - Sailing, with the top three sailors of each fleet laying down the marker ahead of next year's Games. Posted on 21 Aug 2019
Ready Steady Tokyo day 4
Medal Race stakes high with Olympic qualification looming The pressure will be on tomorrow at Ready Steady Tokyo - Sailing, with fleet racing wrapped up in five Olympic events on Day 4. Posted on 20 Aug 2019
Ready Steady Tokyo day 3
Enoshima winds proving difficult to predict As Ready Steady Tokyo - Sailing, the official test event for Tokyo 2020, reaches its mid-way point, it's fair to say that all 353 athletes here have been put through their paces so far. Posted on 19 Aug 2019