Ben Ainslie reveals stress of great expectations

Bournemouth Echo: Ben Ainslie waves to the crowds on the Nothe Ben Ainslie waves to the crowds on the Nothe

QUADRUPLE gold medallist Ben Ainslie has told of the huge pressure of expectation he felt going into the home Games.

The sailing legend, who has now made history, said no matter how much he tried to play down the chances of beating Danish sailor Paul Elvstrom’s 52-year record it was constantly raised.

He said: “It was hard, the expectations going in were so high, no matter how many times I said it wasn’t necessarily the case.

“When I started off on the back foot, people were upset that I wasn’t winning – I had to fight back and give it everything to get into the medal race on equal terms.”

He added: “It’s been really hard the last 18 months. Obviously I had issues with my back and slowly things start falling apart physically as you get older, especially when you’re pushing yourself to the limit – the body doesn’t always like it.

“It’s been very hard physically, especially at this venue with strong breeze “Luckily I got through the week and I’ve got some fantastic physio support.”

Ainslie said it was ‘very unlikely’ he would get in the Finn heavyweight dinghy again and his focus would now turn to America’s Cup sailing. He added: “I never say never but it would be impossible to ever experience anything better than what I experienced here today.

“The crowds were incredible, I'll never experienced anything like that in my life again. My parents and a lot of friends were there on the Nothe although it was impossible to see them in the crowd but I knew they were there.”

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