Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre claim sailing gold for Great Britain in 470-class
Hannah Mills claims consecutive Olympic titles following her gold in the 470-class at the Rio 2016 Games; Great Britain top in the sailing medal standings at Tokyo 2020 with three golds, one silver and one bronze; Mills becomes most decorated British Olympic sailor of all-time
Last Updated: 05/08/21 12:13pm
Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre have won the gold medal for Great Britain in the women's 470-class sailing event at the Tokyo Olympics.
Poland's Agnieszka Skrzypulec and Jolanta Ogar took silver, with Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz bringing home the bronze for France.
Mills, who carried the British flag at the opening ceremony with rower Mohamed Sbihi, won silver in London and gold in Rio with Saskia Clark in the same boat.
Mills and McIntyre had dominated the regatta at Enoshima Harbour, winning two races and only twice finishing outside the top four, and they went into the medal race with a 14-point lead.
That meant they only needed to finish in the top seven to clinch gold and they were never in any danger, crossing the line comfortably in fifth.
The victory continued a hugely successful two days for Britain's sailors, with Mills and McIntyre making it three gold medals after success for Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell in the 49er and Giles Scott in the Finn on Tuesday.
It is the country's second best Olympic tally after Beijing in 2008, when they won six medals, including four golds.
Mills joined forces with 27-year-old McIntyre when Clark retired following the Rio Olympics and the pair marked themselves out as the ones to beat by winning the world championships at Enoshima in 2019.
It is a debut Olympic medal for McIntyre, who follows in the footsteps of her father Mike - the gold medallist in the Star class at the Seoul Games in 1988.
There was disappointment, though, for 2012 silver medallist Luke Patience and Chris Grube in the men's 470.
They were sitting second after eight races but dropped to fifth ahead of the medal race and that was where they finished after crossing the line in seventh.
Mills, who became Britain's most successful Olympic female sailor of all-time with the gold medal triumph, said: "It's been one of the hardest weeks of my life. I'm sure for Eilidh as well, just every day, not being able to eat, just nerves building up, the emotion of just we've done it.
"It's over. We've done what we came here to do and it's amazing.
"Growing up, a lot of Olympians dreamed of being here one day and standing on top of the podium. And to do it twice with Saskia [Clark] before and Eilidh this time, I've had two incredible crews to sail with and I just feel incredibly lucky.
"The team around us here have been phenomenal. Big shout out to The National Lottery and everyone who plays the lottery because without you guys, we wouldn't be here either.
"The support back home has been unreal so thank you everyone."
McIntyre added: "Fortunately nothing else [except gold] would have done for me and I think we've been so aligned on that for our entire campaign.
"To be honest I just couldn't believe it. I can't believe that this has happened. I've dreamt about it my entire life with my dad [Mike McIntyre, 1988 Olympic champion] and it's just such an amazing feeling.
"I can wait to have it [the gold medal] around my neck.
"To my dad, thank you for everything. Thank you for being my inspiration, for being at the end of the phone whenever I wanted to talk.
"I want to thank my whole family and my poor mum… she's had to live through the stress of this twice!"