Host City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Venue(s): Marina da GlÃ³ria, GlÃ³ria, Rio de Janeiro
Date Started: August 12, 2016
Date Finished: August 18, 2016
Format: Points awarded for placement in each race. Best 11 of 12 scores to count for final placement, and advancement to the medal race.. Medal race points count double.
The equivalent to the menâs 49er class, this event made its Olympic dÃ©but in Rio, bringing the number of womenâs events to five, including the Nacra 17 mixed event. After varied performances by the Brazilian sailing team, a dramatic last race of the Olympic regatta treated the enthusiastic home crowd to a golden finish, as Brazil won their only sailing medal of the Games. The standings prior to the medal race meant four boats were in with a chance of gold. The crews in contention were Spain with [TÃ¡mara Echegoyen] and [Berta Betanzos], Brazil with [Martine Grael] and [Kahena Kunze], Denmark with [Jena Hansen] and [Katja Salskov-Iversen] and the New Zealand pair of [Alex Maloney] and [Molly Meech]. The four crews, were separated by just three points and after the medal race one of them would go home without a medal. The leading teams confirmed their superiority by placing 1, 2, 4 and 7 in the medal race. But it was Spain, who had the best score after the preliminaries, that placed seventh and last of the four contenders, and their 14 points dropped them from first to fourth place. With a fourth place finish and eight more points, Denmark snatched the bronze medal from Spain. But the stars of the extremely close final were Brazil and New Zealand. Separated by just one point going in to the final race, it meant that whichever team finished ahead of the other would win gold. Eventually, Grael and Kunze, the 2014 world champions and 2015 runners-up, edged out the other former world champions Meech and Maloney by just two points after beating the New Zealanders into second place. After the finish, family members and friends of the victors waded into the water and carried the boat to the shore with the sailors standing on top. Martineâs father [Torben Grael] was one of the most successful sailors ever, winning two gold, one silver and two Olympic bronze medals between 1984 and 2004. Her brothers [Marco] and [Lars] are also Olympians, the latter winning two bronze medals, in 1988 and 1996.
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