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BBC Five Live's Sonja McLaughlin
reports on another sailing gold
 real 14k

Olympic champion Iain Percy
"It's been tough"
 real 56k

Saturday, 30 September, 2000, 02:59 GMT 03:59 UK
Percy gives Britain third sailing gold
Iain Percy has won gold in the Finn class
Percy has dominated the Finn class from start to finish
Iain Percy gave Britain a hat-trick of sailing golds by clinching the Finn class with one race to spare.

His success brought Great Britain their ninth gold medal of the Olympics, equalling the figure set in the Paris Games back in 1924.

The 24-year-old from Southampton won when his nearest rival, Frederik Loof of Sweden, could not finish in the top five in the penultimate race of the regatta.

Percy himself could only finish 14th, but he was already so far ahead that the Swede needed a top finish to put him under any pressure.

"You've got to be a jack of all trades and that's what's paid for me this week," said Percy after the race.

"It's bloody tough but I've had a good regatta."

Taking no chances

Despite holding such a commanding lead, Percy confessed that he had taken nothing for granted.

"Although on paper it looked like everything was simple I was still very nervous," he said.

"But I knew what I had to do and I found myself in a position halfway through the race where I knew it was going to happen.

"At that point, suddenly I started to relax.

"To go out to win was a bit risky, making sure that the only person who could beat me didn't have a good race was the safer option.

Spoiling tactics

"I just had to make sure he [Loof] didn't finish in a high position rather than go out for the lead and maybe see it go wrong."

Percy had led the standings from the very first race and, although world champion Loof did challenge him at one stage, the Englishman has really dominated the regatta.

Loof will now battle it out for silver and bronze with Mateusz Kusznierewicz of Poland Luca Devoti of Italy in the final race.

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See also:

18 Sep 00 |  Rowing and Water Sports
Sailing into a new era
25 Sep 00 |  Rowing and Water Sports
Edge of the seat action
29 Sep 00 |  Rowing and Water Sports
Ainslie keeps gold on appeal
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