On choppy water under sunny skies, the last day of competition in the Olympic one-person dinghy (men's Laser, women's Laser Radial) events provided plenty of drama.
In the men's event, Australia’s Matt Wearn had already mathematically clinched gold as long as he finished the last race without incident. He did far better than that, taking second in the medal race, his fourth runner-up finish in the 11-race series along with two wins.
The first three finishers on Sunday didn’t affect the medals. France’s Jean Baptiste Bernaz crossed the line first but was too far back in the standings to contend. Next was Wearn. Third-place finisher Philipp Buhl of Germany needed a series of unlikely results to reach the podium.
But as the boats streamed across the line in rapid succession, Croatia’s Tonci Stipanovic sailed across in fourth. Having already done the math in his head and knowing that he had clinched his second straight silver medal, Stipanovic unleashed several yells and pounded his fist on the water.
Stipanovic came into the race in third place, with 74 points in a sport in which the lowest score wins. With points doubled in the medal race, his fourth-place finish gave him eight more for a total of 82.
If Hermann Tomasgaard, who had 71 points before the medal race, had crossed the line next, the Norwegian would have taken silver. He did not. South Korea’s Ha Jee-Min was fifth, followed by Cypriot sailor Pavlos Kontides, who came into the race with medal hopes of his own but needed to finish ahead of Stipanovic and well ahead of Tomasgaard, who grinned as he crossed in seventh but still held on for bronze.
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Denmark's Rindom bounces back for gold
Anne-Marie Rindom should have, by all logic, clinched the Laser Radial gold medal on Saturday. But the one-day wait was worth it.
On Saturday, Rindom gave away most of her massive lead with one bad race, in which she finished 26th, and a series of mistakes in which she was disqualified from a race and didn't realize she was reinstated because the race had to restart.
Sailors drop their worst result from the overall scoring, and Rindom had to count her 26th-place finish after not finishing the last race.
But things broke much more favorably on Sunday. She finished seventh out of 10, but that was only one place behind the 2016 gold medalist Marit Boowmeester of the Netherlands, the only sailor with a reasonable chance of catching Rindom.
Sweden's Josefin Olsson won the medal race and moved up to a silver medal, her first in three tries. Boowmeester dropped to bronze, completing her set after taking gold in 2016 and silver in 2012.