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Burling and Tuke excited about golden opportunity

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke hold a four-point lead heading into the 49er medal race. Photo: Sailing Energy / World Sailing.

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke will on Monday pull on the leader's yellow bibs for the first time at these Tokyo Olympics and it has come at just the right time.

The pair will take a four-point lead over their nearest rivals into the top-ten, double points medal race as they look to secure consecutive 49er Olympic titles.

They banked scores of fifth, second and 11th in their three races yesterday to open up a gap on both Great Britain (Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithall) and Spain (Diego Botin and Iago Lopez Marra).

There's a further ten points back to the German combination in fourth, meaning Burling and Tuke look a good bet for a medal but there is only one colour they are aiming for.

"We are definitely a little frustrated with that last race but, nonetheless, we still gained four points on everyone around us today and it's a massive honour putting on that gold bib for the first time going into that medal race," says Burling. "We are really excited to have another opportunity to win another gold medal for our country.

"It definitely feels like a few things haven't rolled our way this week but we have been battling back and getting ourselves in the hunt. It's been a really fun battle this week and we're just excited to round it out with one more, good race."

Josh Junior is looking for another two good ones in qualifying today after putting himself in a much stronger position to contend for the medals in the Finn.

He finished first and fourth in his two races yesterday and climbed two spots to fifth overall but, crucially, closed the gap to most of those above him.

Defending Olympic champion Giles Scott holds a six-point lead over Spain's Joan Cardona Mendez, with Hungary's Zsombor Berecz another three points behind in third.

Junior is nine points behind third but showed good speed yesterday and there will be more than a few keeping an eye on the 2019 world champion in the next two races.

"It was really important for me to get some good results today," says Josh. "I haven't had many of them so I needed to start racking them up and try to go into the medal race with a chance of winning a medal.

"I’m not sure a whole lot more was different [today]. I was trying to be a bit more proactive and really make clear decisions and take the opportunities I have. I think I got lucky a couple of times today but sometimes that happens."

The Olympic hopes of Rio silver medallists Alex Maloney and Molly Meech ended yesterdaywhen they missed out of a place in the medal race. They found themselves playing catchup after a disastrous first day and a pair of sixth placings and a 20th left them 12th overall, five points off the top 10.

"We came in knowing our potential but felt like we haven’t sailed to our potential," says a dejected Meech. "We made too many mistakes throughout the week. Although we did some good things, unfortunately the mistakes outweighed those.

"It sounds like it was really tight on points out there and we could have got through but we’ve missed the medal race and we’re both gutted."

Micah Wilkinson and Erica Dawson are also 12th in the Nacra 17 with one more day of qualifying remaining. They are 20 points behind 10th so will need to bank three low ones today to squeeze into the top 10 medal race.

The men's 470 of Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox return to action today in third overall and Sam Meech will start the Laser medal race in eighth and with a mathematical chance of claiming a medal.

Results and standings after day seven of the Olympic sailing regatta in Enoshima:

49er (19 boats)

1st: Peter Burling / Blair Tuke (NZL) (12) 3 7 2 10 1 3 6 2 5 2 11 - 52 points
2nd: Dylan Fletcher-Scott / Stuart Bithell (GBR) 2 8 4 1 12 2 (16) 3 9 6 7 - 56 pts
3rd: Diego Botin / Iago Lopez Marra (ESP) 5 1 2 5 4 10 (15) 2 6 4 12 6 - 56 pts

49erFX (21 boats)

1st: Martine Grael / Kahena Kunze (BRA) (15) 5 1 10 7 6 1 6 10 12 2 10 - 70 pts
2nd: Annemiek Bekkering / Annette Duetz (NED) 13 8 2 1 6 1 12 5 6 5 12 (16) - 71 pts
3rd: Tina Lutz / Susann Beuke 5 6 8 3 (13) 12 11 12 3 7 3 3 - 73 pts

12h: Alex Maloney / Molly Meech (NZL) 16 (22 UFD) 5 12 4 4 8 3 18 6 20 6 - 102 pts

Finn (19 boats)

1st: Giles Scott (GBR) (9) 9 1 1 1 1 6 1 - 20 pts
2nd: Joan Cardona (ESP) 3 3 5 3 2 3 (13) 7 - 26 pts
3rd: Zsombor Berecz (HUN) 2 2 (9) 4 6 7 3 5 - 29 pts

5th: Josh Junior (NZL) (12) 10 3 7 8 5 1 4 - 38 pts

Laser (35 boats)

1st: Matt Wearn (AUS) 17 (28) 2 4 2 2 1 1 12 8 - 49 pts
2nd: Hermann Tomasgaard (NOR) 3 18 15 2 6 8 10 5 (19) 4 - 71 pts
3rd: Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) 15 6 3 (22) 13 4 5 11 7 10 - 74 pts

8th: Sam Meech (NZL) (19) 19 8 16 14 3 2 13 11 3 - 89 pts

Laser Radial (44 boats)

1st: Anne-Marie Rindom (BEL) 6 5 3 13 4 4 2 1 26 (45 DNF) - 64 pts
2nd: Marit Bouwmeester (NED) 21 14 7 2 3 9 (45 BFD) 7 1 7 - 71 pts
3rd: Josefin Olsson (SWE) (34) 15 8 4 1 6 4 9 22 10 - 79 pts

Men's 470 (19 boats)

1st: Matt Belcher / Will Ryan (AUS) 2 (5) 1 1 4 3 - 11 pts
2nd: Luke Patience / Chris Grube (GBR) 3 8 2 4 (10) 5 - 22 pts
3rd: Paul Snow-Hansen / Dan Willcox (NZL) 6 2 (7) 7 5 7 - 27 pts

Women's 470 (21 boats)

1st: Agnieszka Skrzypulec / Jolanta Ogar (POL) 1 1 2 5 (13) 1 - 10 pts
2nd: Hannah Mills / Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) 4 3 (7) 1 3 3 - 14 pts
3rd: Camille Lecointre / Aloise Retornaz (FRA) 3 2 4 7 1 (12) - 17 pts

Nacra 17 (20 boats)

1st: Ruggero Tita / Caterina Banti (ITA) 1 3 1 2 5 1 (8) 3 2 - 18 pts
2nd: John Gimson / Anna Burnet (GBR) 7 5 2 1 1 2 5 (10) 1 - 24 pts
3rd: Paul Kohlhoff / Alicia Stuhlemmer (GER) 5 1 7 3 3 (11) 3 2 8 - 32 pts

12th: Micah Wilkinson / Erica Dawson (NZL) 11 12 13 11 8 12 15 9 (18) - 91 pts

Women's RS:X (27 boards)

1st: Lu Yunxiu (CHN) 2 9 (25) 2 2 1 4 2 1 2 3 2 6 - 36 pts
2nd: Charline Picon (FRA) 1 6 2 (9) 1 4 2 3 6 3 2 6 2 - 38 pts
3rd: Emma Wilson (GBR) 5 2 6 1 4 2 1 1 (28 UFD) 6 1 5 4 - 38 pts

Men's RS:X (25 boards)

1st: Kiran Badloe (NED) 5 7 1 1 (26 DSQ) 5 2 4 1 5 1 1 4 - 37 pts
2nd: Thomas Goyard (FRA) (13) 5 3 13 1 1 3 6 7 1 9 3 22 OCS- 74 pts
3rd: Kun Bi (CHN) 7 9 16 4 13 (26 DSQ) 1 3 2 4 2 6 8 - 75 pts

Full results

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