London Olympics 2012: Saskia Clark secures sailing silver – but she wants gold
SASKIA Clark admits she’s already realised her childhood dream by guaranteeing herself a medal at the London 2012 Olympics – and now she’s setting her sights firmly on gold.
Clark, 32, from Mersea Island, and Hannah Mills finished races nine and ten in eighth and second respectively yesterday, ensuring they head into the 470 class medal race in second place.
With a total of 33 points however, the Brits are level with leaders Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie of New Zealand, ensuring that whomever finishes higher in the medal race will secure gold.
Both crews will go into tomorrow’s showdown safe in the knowledge that no matter how they fare they are guaranteed at least silver, meaning there will be no holding back by either the Brits or the Kiwis.
For Clark it is sweet satisfaction, having finished sixth at Beijing 2008 alongside Christina Bassadone before trialling unsuccessful partnerships with Pippa Wilson, Sarah Ayton and Penny Clark, only to unearth Mills just 18 months ago.
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Since then the pair have won world silver in 2011, world gold earlier this year and now will top that with an Olympic medal.
Clark said: “My dream since I was ten was to go to the Olympics and maybe win a medal.
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“To have had the 18 months that Hannah and I have had and then to come here and be in with a chance of gold, it’s absolutely awesome.
“There’s no room for celebration yet because we want to win.”
While Clark and Mills have been taking part in a 20-strong regatta so far, Friday’s medal showdown will effectively come down to a match race between the Brits and the Kiwis.
Clark added: “At the worlds we were a point ahead but effectively started on equal points with four boats – and we had the gold medal to lose.
“It certainly led to a stressful dynamic even though we kept telling ourselves we were equal fourth – so it’s nice to think of ourselves as second going into this race.
“Saying it’s ours to win and theirs to lose is a nice mental place to be but I think the Kiwis will be doing the same.”
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