OLYMPICS UPDATE: Emsworth sailing ace is guaranteed a medal

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Defending champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson are guaranteed at least a bronze medal in the Star class in Dorset - but left themselves in a perfect position to once again claim Olympic gold after another masterful performance at the London 2012 Sailing Regatta at Weymouth and Portland on Friday.

The pair will go into Sunday’s double points’ medal race holding an eight point advantage over nearest rivals, Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA), in a strong position to retain the title they won at Beijing 2008.

Percy, from Emsworth, and Simpson scored fourth and first places in the latest events, with the Brazilians finishing first and third, to keep the pressure on the Brits. Meanwhile the Swedish pairing of Fredrik Loof and Max Salminen (SWE) can also still win gold, as they sit 12 points from pole position, which equates to just six places in the medal race.

Fourth place or better in the medal race will guarantee the Brits gold but Percy and Simpson aren’t taking anything for granted as they prepare for their final showdown.

Percy said: “We’re happy to be just ahead but it is only just and we are going to have to regroup and come back for one last push. There are three boats in it so you’ve really got to go out and do your best. If we sure go out and have a good race it is going to make our lives a lot easier.

“We are sailing well, there is no doubt, but the other competitors are also sailing well as well. We’ve secured a medal which is great news, but there is one last big hurdle to come, which is the medal race, so we will have to keep calm and carry on for that”.

The Star medal race is scheduled for 1pm on Sunday (5 August) on the spectator Nothe course. This will be the first time that the Star boys have raced on that course during the Games.

Percy added: “It’s going to be an incredible spectacle. We haven’t had the fun of being on the Nothe course in front of the crowds yet - we are looking forward to that experience and just getting out and doing the business in front of them. We will definitely try our hardest!”

Follow the British sailing team at London 2012 at www.rya.org.uk/london2012