Mat Belcher (front) and Will Ryan celebrate winning the silver medal in the men's 470 class.
Mat Belcher (front) and Will Ryan celebrate winning the silver medal in the men's 470 class. Clive Mason

RIO 2016: Double silver for Aussie sailors

SAILING: Australia has won two silvers on a good day on the water off Rio.

The first came in the men's 470 class with defending champion Mat Belcher and Olympic debutant Will Ryan finishing second after an exciting medal-race battle with Greece.

Croatia could not be caught in the gold-medal spot, so all eyes were on the battle for silver and it did not disappoint.

At one point Ryan fell out of the boat, allowing Greece to go past the Aussies.

But Belcher, who won gold in the same class in London in 2012, and Ryan recovered to overtake the Greeks and claim the silver.

"We overcame adversity but we passed those tests," Belcher said.

"And we fought in good Aussie spirit. We didn't give up. We fought all the way to the end to gain those extra metres and it was enough to get the silver."

After his win in London, Belcher wanted to get a double in Rio but he was still satisfied with the result.

"It's a fantastic achievement for us," Belcher said.

"It's disappointing we didn't win - we came here to win. But to come away with silver is a great achievement."


In the men's 49ers the gold-medal winners had already been decided with New Zealanders Peter Burling and Blair Tuke unable to be caught in the medal race.

Once again the silver was up for grabs and Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen were able to hold off their German rivals to take second, relegating the Germans to bronze.

Outteridge and Jensen won gold in the same event in London four years ago.

In remarkable scenes, the biggest celebration was reserved for Brazil's Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze after victory in the women's 49er FX Skiff. The duo won the fourth gold medal for the host nation.