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Bryony Shaw: Giles Scott 'now the star' of British sailing team

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Scott, 34,
Scott, 34, captured a second consecutive Olympic gold on Tuesday morning

Three-time Olympian Bryony Shaw has hailed the GB Sailing team’s medal-winning performances in Tokyo after Giles Scott claimed his second Olympic gold medal.

Shaw, who won windsurfing bronze at Beijing 2008, has high hopes for Team GB to put in even more podium finishes at the postponed Olympic Games, despite some unpredictable weather conditions.

Scott won gold in the Finn class in Tokyo on Tuesday, defending his title from Rio five years ago having only just returned to the class after helping Ben Ainslie’s British Cup campaign earlier this year.

The 34-year-old's first race at Tokyo 2020 saw him finish ninth, but he managed to turn his campaign around, finishing first in six of the next nine races before taking fourth in the medal race to clinch his second gold.

Shaw said: “I think Giles had a bit of a shaky start and a little bit of rust that needed to be flicked off, but he's admitted that himself.

“Then, to put a string of first places together, he absolutely showed that his status in the class.

“The history that GB has from bringing medals back from the Finn class - you have Iain Percy and Ben Ainslie, and now Giles Scott - he's now the star of the team and we've put a lot of pressure on his shoulders to bring the gold."

Monday’s racing in Tokyo was postponed as organisers waited for winds to pick up at Enoshima Yacht Harbour, while last week a typhoon threatened to cancel racing altogether, but Shaw believes this won’t faze British medal contenders who are likely to follow in Scott's footsteps.

“We've seen in Tokyo, 20 knots of wind and big waves, and we've seen the Brits absolutely having outstanding performances,” said Shaw, who has benefited first-hand from National Lottery players’ support of Team GB and seen how vital it is through British performances in Tokyo.

“Then we've had tricky lightning conditions where the race has rarely been able to start, or there's been postponement and that can build on the nerves.

“A lot of the classes has gone into the final medal day with really tight points so it's nerve wracking, but Britain will certainly put on a great show for us and it will show the best sailor at the end of the week.”

Shaw is also backing fellow triple Olympian Hannah Mills, who alongside crew-mate Eilidh McIntyre is guaranteed hardware in Wednesday's women's 470 medal race. A gold would crown the Opening Ceremony flag-bearer Britain's most successful female sailor in Olympic history. 

Shaw added: “Hannah is really looking to put that legacy together and if she manages to take a gold at this Games, she'll be the most decorated female sailor so that'll be phenomenal.

“Athletes like us who have done a number of Games have that experience under their belt and I think that we'll certainly see Hannah up in the top two for this week out there in Tokyo.

“We know her pedigree and she can absolutely win gold out there."

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