Shaw digs deep for bronze but Dempsey falls short

The medal charge by Britain's sailors tripped up today, but not before Bryony Shaw had lifted the tally to five when winning a hard-fought bronze in a windsurfer class in which the host country won its first ever sailing gold medal.

Nick Dempsey, who already has bronze from Athens, was expected at least to follow suit and was in a position to win gold. But, in a race that was over too quickly for him to recover, he posted a seventh and finished a hugely disappointing fourth overall. A fifth in the final race would have given him a second medal.

"I'm really happy that I did my best," said the 25-year old Shaw, who is already determined to bid for a second crack in four years on waters which are home for parents Brian and Hazel. "The colour of my medal was determined by the way the other girls sailed."

The race was eventually won by the 38-year old Italian Alessandra Sensini, who added the silver to the gold she won in 2000 and bronzes in both 1996 and 2004. She has more sailing medals than any woman in history. But nothing was going to stop the classically-featured Jian Yin, silver in 2004, whose third was enough to secure the top spot.

Shaw, watched by Sir Clive Woodward, had to dig deep on reserves of strength which had been sapped by 10 previous races and a double round of physically pumping the sail. It was brutal. "You are always digging deep, and it was a medal race," she said afterwards adding: "It's my job."

Dempsey, who is engaged to marry Yngling double gold medallist Sarah Ayton in October, said: "At the end of the day, you can't get it right all the time and that's racing. It's difficult when it comes down to one race and one lap. Now we are getting married, so life's not all bad." The couple plans a honeymoon in Scotland "Sarah's getting a dog, and then we've got Weymouth in four years' time."

The final medal races are due tomorrow for the Tornado catamaran, in which Britain's Leigh McMillan and Will Howden are out of the running despite making the top 10 double points run-off, and in the Star class there is everything to play for.

Three medals should be shared between the top four. Britain's Iain Percy, Finn gold medallist in 2000, and Andrew 'Bart' Simpson are second. Against them are the pair which has led the series almost from day one, Sweden's Freddy Loof and Anders Ekstrom, chasing them are Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada of Brazil and the French pair of Xavier Rohart and Pascal Rambeau.

All four are former world champions, all four already have Olympic medals. "We hope we are getting better and we try to keep calm," said Simpson after a tricky final day of three fleet races which netted a first, a second and a sixth. "But it's tough on the brain and tough mentally trying to keep fighting.

"The only game plan we have for the final race is to win it. If we win the race, we've got gold. Anything else and you have to start looking round. You have to keep focussed on what you can do. We want to win."

The bronze from Shaw meant that Britain has surpassed its own target of four medals and that for three successive Olympic Games it has taken five home and been top of the medal table. One more tomorrow would mean a record. Something to celebrate, something to add extra pressure when it comes to defending a proud Olympic record on home waters.

FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam