Team GB's Nick Dempsey secures windsurfing silver medal


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The Independent Online

Great Britain's Nick Dempsey today secured a windsurfing silver medal at London 2012.

The Athens 2004 bronze medallist came into the medal race knowing a top six finish in the men's RS:X class would assure him of second place.

Dempsey duly delivered and finished third in the medal race to take silver as the Netherlands' Dorian van Rijsselberge secured gold.

The Dutch windsurfer came into the medal race with gold mathematically assured, knowing he only had to turn up and compete - even if he finished last - to clinch the victory.

The fight was on for silver and bronze, though, with Dempsey holding the advantage after the 10 opening fleet races.

He boasted an 11-point cushion over nearest rival Toni Wilhelm of Germany, with Poland's Przemyslaw Miarczynski a further six points back.

Dempsey got the medal race off to a great start, appearing to see attack as the best form of defence.

He rounded the first mark in third position, with only race leader van Rijsselberge and France's Julien Bontemps ahead of him.

The former went on to secure medal race victory ahead of the Frenchman to cap a gold medal-winning regatta in style.

Dempsey, meanwhile, held on for third to add silver to Great Britain's medal haul after Ben Ainslie won gold on Sunday and Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson took silver.

Poland's Miarczynski finished the medal race in fourth to take bronze ahead of Wilhem in what is slated to the be the last men's RS:X race at the Olympics, with the sport dropped in favour of kiteboarding for 2016.

In the short-term, though, Dempsey can celebrate silver after agonisingly missing out on the medals in Beijing, where he finished fourth.

"It has been a pretty difficult four years but I always believed I could come here and do well," he told BBC Sport.

"I am just massively relieved I think more than anything.

"It has been really tough, especially with Dorian having such a good start. It was really very, very tough and meant I was racing for second.

"I was hoping he would make a mistake and he didn't so I knew it was only ever going to be second.

"I was desperate to finish second here so I am certainly massively happy and glad I could do it for a lot of people that have helped me."

Britain's Bryony Shaw failed in her attempts to win a medal in the women's RS:X class despite a valiant last push today.

The 29-year-old took bronze in China four years ago but was unable to repeat the feat on home waters after failing to claw her way back into contention.

Shaw came into today's medal race 11 points off the bronze and silver medal positions, sitting in seventh overall - a position she ended up in after finishing fifth in the medal race as Spain's Marina Alabau secured gold with victory on the Nothe Course.

Shaw came into this afternoon's race knowing she faced a tough fight to get into medal contention, but started excellently and rounded the first mark in second place.

Ukraine's Olha Maslivets fended off the Briton's attention to keep her lead around the second mark, but the home favourite was looking impressive.

Shaw held onto second place until the fourth mark, when she slipped to third and then fourth around the following one.

Unfortunately, that slide continued as she fell to fifth around the penultimate mark, allowing Poland's Zofia Noceti-Klepacka and Tuuli Petaja of Finland through to extinguish her already feint medal hopes.

Shaw finished the medal race fifth to leave her seventh overall, with Alabau, Petaja and Zofia Noceti-Klepacka taking the gold, silver and bronze in what is slated to the be the last women's RS:X race at the Olympics, with the sport dropped in favour of kiteboarding for 2016.