Bronze medal angers Draper and Hiscocks

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Forget the de Coubertin principle of the revived Olympics in the 1890s. Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks did not bring their high-performance 49er dinghy to Greece just to make up the numbers or enjoy being part of the scene. They came to win and when they had to settle for a bronze medal after the final race yesterday it was not just disappointment they could not hide, it was angry frustration.

Forget the de Coubertin principle of the revived Olympics in the 1890s. Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks did not bring their high-performance 49er dinghy to Greece just to make up the numbers or enjoy being part of the scene. They came to win and when they had to settle for a bronze medal after the final race yesterday it was not just disappointment they could not hide, it was angry frustration.

Draper was stamping on the side deck of his boat, Hiscocks was seething, and both turned their backs on the assembled finish line photographers to avoid international images of their scowling and frowning. There will be no more medals this year, but Britain's sailing team is the most successful in any discipline, with two gold, a silver and two bronze medals.

Four years ago they went home with three golds and two silvers, a difficult act to follow, with one of those silver medals going to Hiscocks, in the 49er, crewing for Ian Barker. The new partnership was born months later, working at a punishing rate ever since both from a base in deepest Dorset and around the world. "We have had very few days off," said Draper. After a time to reflect, made longer as Draper was asked to complete the mandatory dope test twice, he said: "We are both disappointed. We came here to win that gold medal."

The British pair had gone out knowing they were just two points off the eventual silver medallists, Rodion Luka and George Leonchuk of the Ukraine, with the world champions, Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez of Spain, comfortably winning the gold. That 16th and last race did not go well for Draper and Hiscocks, who picked the less favoured side of the course for the first leg and then were playing catch-up.

So will they carry on? The hunger for gold, was "undiminished" Hiscocks said. "There is no reason why we shouldn't still be there, fighting for a gold medal in China."

Brilliantly winning a record fifth medal and his second gold, with a race to spare, in the Star class was Brazil's Torben Grael, with crew Marcelo Ferreira. A "totally gutted" Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell continued their horror show with a seventh and a last, blowing any medal hopes, as have Leigh McMillan and Mark Bulkeley in the Tornado catamaran.

Comments