Silvers at sea for British sailors

Silvers at sea for British sailors

Great Britain's Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell celebrate winning the Olympic silver medal in the Men's 470 Class

Sarah Stevenson, red, in action against USA's Paige McPherson in the -67kg Women's preliminary taekwondo round

Great Britain's Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark celebrate winning the silver medal in the Women's 470 class at the Olympics

First published in National News © by

Sailing duo Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell have expressed their delight after securing Olympic silver but there was disappointment for their female counterparts when Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark lost their battle for gold after starting their race at the top of the standings.

The men's pair trailed the Australian team going into the final race in the highly competitive 470 dinghy class and were unable to pull off the result that would have seen them capture top spot.

But there was no regret from the Brits after crossing the finish line at Weymouth behind Aussies Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page.

"It's great," said Scotland's Patience. "It's just so good, it's been three, four years hard work together, it's been 15 years up there (his head) and we're here standing on an Olympic podium. It's not gold but there's plenty of time. We're young boys and we'll be coming back and we'll mean business next time round yet again."

Mills and Clark were also thwarted by Antipodean opposition. The pair had entered the medal race top of the standings alongside Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie, although it was the New Zealand pair that won the race and took the gold medal as Britain collected their fourth sailing silver of London 2012.

"I think we just feel a bit gutted at the moment that we didn't even put a good show on, really," Clark told BBC Sport. "We had the Kiwis at the start line and then we let them go to the right and didn't follow them."

Meanwhile, taekwondo champion Sarah Stevenson said her parents would have been proud of her, even though her Olympic gold medal hopes have been dashed. Stevenson was selected for London 2012 just months after losing both of her parents to cancer last year.

The South Yorkshire sportswoman cemented her status as one of Great Britain's sporting ambassadors when she was chosen to read out the Olympic oath on behalf of all the athletes at the opening ceremony last month.

But, despite success being out of her reach when she lost to American Paige McPherson in the preliminary round in the women's under-67kg at ExCeL, Stevenson said she was not a quitter. The 29-year-old told the BBC: "I did my best. I just came here, my mum and dad wanted me to be here, so I'm here and I know they'd be proud."

There was better news for Lutalo Muhammad, who fights on the men's 80kg taekwondo. Londoner Muhammad was controversially picked over rival British competitor Aaron Cook, the reigning European champion and world number one. The selection choice led to appeals and the sport's integrity being questioned but Muhammad and the sport's governing body are now out to prove the doubters wrong.

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