Posted: 19 August, 2012
by Triple M Sport
Tom Slingsby Wins Gold For Australia In Sailing
Australia's Tom Slingsby won the Laser class gold medal at the Olympic regatta in Weymouth, handing the nation a much-needed boost at the London Games.
AUDIO: Triple M Melbourne's The Hot Breakfast live from London spoke to Tom Slingsby about his gold medal win:
(Can't play audio above? Download the MP3 here)
Four years after the bitter disappointment of Beijing, Australian Laser class sailor Tom Slingsby won a gold medal at the London Olympics - and gave the nation's medal tally a much-needed boost.
"Words just can't describe how I feel right now," Slingsby told the BBC.
"It's been a long road and I've been through the highs and lows of the sport but nothing beats this.
"I've worked so hard and my coach has helped me so much and all the support staff.
"Every Olympics is a dream - it's the pinnacle of sport.
"Right now I'm the happiest guy on the planet I can guarantee it."
The 27-year-old five time world champion just needed to finish Monday's medal race ahead of his nearest rival, Cypriot Pavlos Kontides.
Slingsby simply shadowed Kontides around the course and finished ninth, with the Cypriot 10th.
He burst into tears, waved an Australian flag and deliberately capsized his boat after crossing the finish line.
Slingsby paid tribute to his coach, Sydney bronze medallist Michael Blackburn.
"Blackers joined me after the last Games and I'm sort of naturally talented but I wasn't too professional and Blackers really helped me with my weaknesses."
Kontides took silver - the first ever Olympic medal won by a Cypriot.
Sweden's Rasmus Mygren finished in bronze medal position - but he faced a protest for an apparent rule infringement.
For Slingsby it was a moment of redemption.
He finished 22nd in the Laser class at the Beijing Olympics - a shock defeat when heavily favoured for gold that left the New South Welshman distraught.
Slingsby's victory in Weymouth secured Australia's second gold medal of the London Games and the first to be won by an individual Australian athlete.
The 27-year-old was roared to victory by a large crowd watching from the Nothe peninsula, overlooking Weymouth Bay.
Among them were Slingsby's father Dave, mother Mavis, his sister, brother and girlfriend - the Italian windsurfer Flavia Tartaglini.
"I'm just very, very proud. I never thought this would happen," Tom's mum Mavis said.
His father Dave added: "I'm very proud - amazing."