London 2012: Ainslie clinches record-breaking gold

First published in Sport

LYMINGTON'S Ben Ainslie claimed a record-breaking fourth Olympic gold medal this afternoon.

Ainslie held off the attentions of Danish sailor Jonas Hogh-Christensen in the Finn class medal race in Weymouth to confirm his status at the greatest ever Olympic sailor.

In a nailbiting race, Ainslie was always in front of the Dane, but with PJ Postma from the Netherlands also in the mix for gold, Ainslie's ninth place at one stage looked like only being enough for silver.

But Postma made an error at the final mark when chasing a gold-clinching second place and ended up in fifth.

That left Ainslie to cross the line and pump the air in delight as thousands of spectators on the Nothe went wild.

"I am pretty speechless," Ainslie told BBC Sport. ''It has been a tough week.

"There was amazing competition, especially from Jonas Hogh-Christensen from Denmark, but this was the time to do it in front of a home crowd.

"I am just so glad for all the people that supported me over the years, all the people that came here to wave me on and all the people that have written in and supported us across the country.

"It has just been an amazing experience this Olympics and I can tell you that listening to a crowd like that makes a difference."

Asked about his future and competing at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, he added: ''You can never say never.

"I am not going to do a Steve Redgrave here, but I don't think I could sail again.

"It is killing my body so I would be very surprised if you see me in Rio and this would be the best way to leave - on top, with a home Olympics. You'll never beat that or get better than that.''

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