Thu, 23 Sep 2021

TOKYO, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Australian Matt Wearn claimed the men's laser gold at the Tokyo Olympic Games here on Sunday.

Before the medal race, Wearn already had an advantage of 22 net points on the overall ranking over second-placed Hermann Tomasgaard of Norway. Despite a second-place finish in the medal race, Wearn emerged as the winner of the class with 53 net points.

Tonci Stipanovic of Croatia, placed third before the medal race, clinched the silver, edging Tomasgaard to third place.

Wearn gave Australia its third successive Olympic gold medal in the laser men. Tom Slingsby won it for Australia in 2012 and Tom Burton in 2016. The laser men is the second event in which Australia has won three sailing gold medals, after the 470 men event.

"It was just nice to go out there today and enjoy the race and finish off with a second place in the medal race," Wearn said after winning the gold medal.

On whether he plans to compete at Paris 2024, "That's the plan at the moment, it's only three years away, so it's quite quick. I feel like I'm finally where I want to be in the sport, and I just want to enjoy the next three years," he said.

Stipanovic won his second Olympic Games medal in laser men. He also claimed silver in 2016.

"For a small country like Croatia, this is a really great result. It's almost like a gold medal for me. It's very good," said Stipanovic.

"Croatia is a sailing country, but we are a small country and we don't have so many sailors like other countries, so this is really huge. This will push a lot of kids towards sailing, and in a few years we will have new guys," he added.

Tomasgaard won the first medal for Norway in sailing since 2004, when they won gold in the women's Europe event. The last time Norwegian men won a medal in sailing was in the soling open event in 2000.

"I feel very good, very relieved. It's a really strong fleet, and I was looking at it yesterday and I was thinking that these guys have about 20 world championship wins and medals, and I don't have any of that," said Tomasgaard.

"Anyway, I thought it's up to them to prove that they're better. But that made me put my shoulders down and think, 'If they beat me it's not the end of the world'."

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