London Olympics 2012 - 470 Australians on a winning streak

Weymouth, England - Mathew Belcher does a back flip off the Australian Mens 470 celebrating their Gold Medal win - the Silver Medalist (GBR) are yet to finish
At the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, Malcolm Page, the Beijing and now London 2012 Olympic winner and Mat Belcher, the 2012 Gold Medal skipper, were in an expansive mood when they came ashore.

Malcolm was first to talk

‘I’ve been 15 years in the 470 class and campaigning for an Olympic Game, for an Olympic gold medal. I gone through the highs and lows over those 15 years from missing selection to failing at the Games and obviously feeling the highest reward from success in Beijing but then these four years have probably been one of the most rewarding of my whole sailing career.

‘The development that Mat and I have been through as a team under Victor’s guidance has been incredible.

‘I think that the team we became is the best I have ever seen well it certainly feels that way to me and our results that we have achieved along the way is incredible.

‘This is our eighth regatta in a row that we have won since the test event here one year ago. It is an incredible feeling. I hope we haven't won too many beforehand and we couldn’t keep it rolling but to achieve it has been phenomenal.

‘A day after I got the Beijing gold medal that Mat and I met in a coffee shop in Qingdao and he asked me to the four years.

‘I said give me three months before I can give you a solid answer because I didn't want the emotion to make it a wrong decision. Of course I knew at the start of this four year campaign that it would be my last Olympic campaign.

‘I would love to still stay involved with the team but just won’t be as an athlete. Hopefully you will see me at an Olympic Games but I won’t be wearing wetsuits.

‘I have achieved so much more than I probably ever expected especially when I decided to do an Olympic campaign. I came from a non-sailing family so to fall in love with the sport at a young age and then obviously have a little bit of talent with it I have now been sailing for 32 years straight and I have never missed a summer certainly in Australia and not often have I missed one in Europe especially in the last twenty years.

‘It’s a great way to go out and I have been very, very happy with my sailing life. It’s taken me some places and helped me grow up as a person. It’s a great feeling.

Mat: I was driving a media boat at the last Olympic Games, it obviously a different view, a different perspective and satisfaction. It is much better to sail and have the opportunity that we have. I have spent 12 years trying to get to this stage. Just to make it to the Olympics was quite special in a sense because for eight years I have been trying to beat this guy and his former skipper and we are really happy.

‘Coming in at Beijing I really thought I didn't want to campaign anymore and I was driving a motor boat, filming Mal and I just thought I just want the opportunity.

‘I wanted to be able to see if I can do it.

August 10, 2012 - Weymouth, England - Mathew Belcher and Malcom Page celebrating their Gold Medal win in the Mens 470

‘I said to myself, if I can get Mal, I will have the best crew in the world. I have got the best coach in the world and I have the best support staff, the best teammates and I wanted that opportunity and thankfully Mal said yes. The last four years have been unbelievable.

‘When I sat down to talk to Malcolm, I think I had a lot in my favour because I think he was still quite drunk from his celebrations.

‘We have got so much support. It’s fantastic that our team mates in sailing is getting the recognition it deserves and the last four years we have won three worlds and this year has been fantastic. There are so many people we would like to thank and we are just happy that we could do it for them and obviously do it for ourselves.

‘It was pretty nerve-wracking at times today. We would love to have a few more points coming into today but then again we won half the races and Luke and Stu sailed a fantastic week as we did.

‘We didn't really expect to pull away a little bit from the rest of the fleet. That was a bit surprising for us. To come in with only 18 points we just couldn’t get that point separation that we wanted.

Malcolm interjected ‘Racing on the Nothe is great for spectators. Very difficult to race. We made the most of the situations. A few things went our way and a few things didn't. We kept calm and I think it just shows our experience.

‘First time around the top mark they were on track for Gold and by the bottom mark we were.

‘It’s tough to race like that. There is a lot of pressure. A lot of expectation and as a team being as strong as we are was nice. We have trust in ourselves to get the job done.

‘The Croatians had good speed and I thought they might be the spoilers.

‘Going forward was our focus no matter what happened to us out there today. Bad luck or bad decisions or bad things that came our way we just had to keep fighting and keep fighting hard and then we would know we had given it our all.

Mathew Belcher and Malcom Page celebrating their Gold Medal win in the Mens 470 - with coach Victor Kovalenko - his sixth Olympic Gold as a coach

‘I guess that goes for the whole four years as well. We felt like that every stone was unturned in our whole cycle.

‘I think when it came to those medal race situations when we were in a difficult tight situation and we could have l lost it but we knew we had the experience. We have had those feelings before and we knew how to get through it.

‘There is another thing that is really special about these four years. We have talked a lot about Victor and us two as a strong team but we have had some amazing training partners that have stayed with us for the last three and a half years.

‘Every day we went on the water they were out there with us and that was Sam Kivell and Will Ryan.

‘They were the two young Australian sailors who joined the 470 program at the start of the Olympiad and they have been out with us every day and every time we come to Europe they have driven their stuff around and our equipment around. They have been true team mates.

‘There have been no secrets between us and it really is a tight unit.

‘Sure there are only two of us in the boat but there really is five of us in that core little team that have made this journey and made this possible at the end of this day.

‘Those two guys they deserve a medal as well. They are just phenomenal.‘

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1AUSMathew BelcherMalcolm Page3(9)21113511431.022.0
2GBRLuke PatienceStuart Bithell2142341(6)32836.030.0
3ARGLucas CalabreseJuan de la Fuente5(24)391782256687.063.0
4ITAGabrio ZandonãPietro Zucchetti6(26)18613841131298.072.0
5NZLPaul Snow-HansenJason Saunders(28)DSQ35416379131214114.086.0
6CROSime FantelaIgor Marenic(28)DSQ13910851512222115.087.0
7FRAPierre LeboucherVincent Garos910116102(19)1141116109.090.0
8PORÁlvaro MarinhoMiguel Nunes12216511717310(28)OCS10121.093.0
9AUTMatthias SchmidFlorian Reichsteaedter14719416(24)10141418131.0107.0
10SWEAnton DahlbergSebastian Östling4681413914(24)221320147.0123.0
11ESPOnan BarreirosAaron Sarmiento7812(27)2461013159 131.0104.0
12NEDSven CosterKalle Coster8519721(24)92268 129.0105.0
13GERFerdinand GerzPatrick Follmann13(17)13169101114910 122.0105.0
14USAStuart McnayGraham Biehl1522103(23)2361874 131.0108.0
15ISRGideon KligerEran Sela17111711214512(28)OCS23 140.0112.0
16SUIYannick BrauchliRomuald Hausser111618221412127(23)7 142.0119.0
17RUSMikhail SheremetyevMaxim Sheremetyev211814135204(25)1817 155.0130.0
18JPNRyunosuke HaradaYuugo Yoshida1912(25)1271121171715 156.0131.0
19GREKampo KampouridisEfstathios Papadopoulos147201518(28)DSQ2719820 176.0148.0
20CHNWeidong WangDaokun Deng2015626(27)1722261216 187.0160.0
21FINJoonas LindgrenNiklas Lindgren221922171215(26)212118 193.0167.0
22KORGunwoo ParkSungMin CHO2314152420(25)2082421 194.0169.0
23IRLGer OwensScott Flanigan16252425152225(27)165 200.0173.0
24TURDeniz CinarAtes Cinar1023(26)18222123161926 204.0178.0
25CANLuke RamsayMichael Leigh2420212119191620(26)19 205.0179.0
26RSAJim AsenathiRoger Hudson18(27)2720262613152524 221.0194.0
27CHIBenjamin GrezDiego Gonzalez(25)212323251818232025 221.0196.0
 Updated: Friday 10 August 2012, 20:20:49 GMT
( ) - Excluded ScoreDPI - Discretionary penalty imposed
BFD - Black flag, disqualification under rule 30.3DSQ - Disqualification
DGM - Disqualification under rule 69.1(b)(2); not excludableOCS - On the course side of the starting line
DNC - Did not start; did not come to starting areaRAF - Retired after finishing
DNE - Disqualification (other than DGM) not excludable under rule 89.3(b)RDG - Redress given
DNF - Did not finishSCP - Took a scoring penalty under rule 44.3
DNS - Did not start (other than DNC and OCS)ZFP - 20% penalty under rule 30.2