Silver medal prospects look good for Team GB's Nick Dempsey


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The Independent Online

A silver medal for windsurfer Nick Dempsey is still a real prospect after the gold was wrapped up with two races to spare by Dorian van Rijsselberge of The Netherlands.

The Dutchman pulled out of race 10 knowing he could discard the score and still have enough of a lead to come last in the medal race on Tuesday and win.

The 2008 women’s bronze medallist Bryony Shaw still has a chance to repeat her bronze position, but she has been stuck for most of the regatta in the fifth to seventh slots and it will need a superhuman effort, plus a dash of luck, to achieve a last gasp dash.

And there is only a slim prospect of a medal on Monday for Alison Young in the Laser Radial final and none at all for the 2008 gold medallist Paul Goodison in the Laser.

On a day notable for a wholesale changing of the Olympic sailing guard – Ben Ainslie was bowing out along with a slew of other Finn veterans and both Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson are unlikely to be seen in an Olympic class again as the Star class is, so far, not on the 2016 roster– but the end may not be in sight for the 49er pairing of Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes.

This is their second crack at an Olympic medal. With two races to run before the double points decider, the British pair is in third place but with fortunes capable of changing dramatically, they need another performance of the kind that gave them a pair of wins on the fourth day.

Not so in either the men’s or women’s divisions of the 470 dinghy, where the young blood coming through could win medals as Britain’s Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark moved back into the lead on the third day. That would at least mean that Olympic manager Stephen Park’s target of four medals from Weymouth – seemingly set deliberately modest – will be achieved.

A fifth depends on how the women’s match race trio of the Macgregor sisters and Annie Lush progress through the knockout stage, starting with their quarter-final clash with the highly fancied Russians on Tuesday. The Elliot 6M is making both its debut and its swansong in Weymouth. In Rio there will be the reintroduction of the catamaran for a mixed crew and a skiff to echo the 49er for the women.