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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 August, 2004, 12:53 GMT 13:53 UK
Robertson celebrates title
Britain's Yngling trio of Shirley Robertson, Sarah Webb and Sarah Ayton
Shirley Robertson's Yngling crew won Britain's first gold medal of the Athens Games.

Alongside Sarah Webb and Sarah Ayton, the Scot took gold with a race to spare on a superb day for British sailing.

Such was their dominance that they did not need to compete in Saturday's final race, in which the Ukraine trio overtook Denmark for the silver medal.

Robertson, who triumphed in the Europe class in Sydney, sealed her second successive gold on the Saronic Gulf.

To win with a day to spare is amazing
Shirley Robertson
"What about a triple?" exclaimed the 36-year-old from Dundee as she toasted her latest triumph.

"It's been hard all week and we have taken each race as it goes along and not made errors.

"Winning a day early certainly takes the pressure off a little bit.

"I'm overwhelmed that we've put it all together and made it happen.

"We are just so overjoyed. To win with a day to spare is amazing, we can't quite believe it."

The trio extended their lead to 10 points with a third in race nine.

Shirley getting two golds in two Olympics in different boats is unbelievable
Ben Ainslie, who may do the same on Saturday
And an eighth in race 10 meant Denmark, trailing by nine points, could not overtake the British crew.

"The legs are like jelly and all over the place," said Ayton, the 24-year-old from Weymouth. "It's been hard work but worth it.

"The conditions haven't been the strongest for us and we've really had to raise our game. It's unbelievable."

Webb, from Weybridge in Surrey, just missed out in the last Olympics trials in the 470 class, but joined Robertson and Ayton two years ago after an original crew member, Inga Leask, had to drop out.

"It means absolutely everything, awesome," she said. "It's not sunk in yet."

The trio were welcomed back to the jetty by Ainslie, who was the first to congratulate them before throwing Olympic debutant Ayton back into the water.

"It's fantastic, I'm so pleased for them," Ainslie said.

"Shirley getting two golds in two Olympics and in different boats as well is unbelievable.

"And for the two Sarahs coming into their first Olympics - the whole team's happy for them.

"Hopefully it can spark on the rest of us to get some more medals and more good results."

The Danish crew of Dorte Jensen, Helle Jespersen and Christina Borregaard Otzen eventually had to settle for bronze, behind Ruslana Taran, Ganna Kalinina and Svitlana Matevusheva of Ukraine.

Links to more Sailing stories



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