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Aussies claim two podiums at Laser World Champs

20 September 2017

SAILING: Australians have earned a slew of personal best results at the Laser World Championship in Croatia, including a first podium finish for rising star Matt Wearn.

The West Australian won the Bronze medal, improving on his previous best 4th placing last year. In 2015, Wearn finished 5th.

Wearn was joined on the podium by Australia’s 2016 Olympic Gold medalist Tom Burton, who equalled his previous best finish by winning the Silver medal.

Pavlos Kontides, of Cyprus, was crowned World Champion after the final day’s two scheduled races were abandoned due to unsteady winds - and, ultimately, complete calm - following a nearby electrical storm.

With no change to the overnight scores, Kontides was confirmed as his nation’s first Olympic Class World Champion, and the Australians filled up the rest of the podium.

Australian Sailing Team Laser coach Michael Blackburn was proud of Burton and Wearn, but pointed out that the entire Aussie contingent performed to a high standard.

“In fact, there are PBs for the whole squad,” Blackburn said.

“Luke [Elliott’s] 14th beat his previous best of 19th, Mitch [Kennedy] came 22nd, up from 25th, Jeremy [O’Connell] improved to 25th from his previous best of 46th and Finn [Alexander] came 48th at his first worlds.”

Wearn posted on social media that he “couldn’t be happier with the result” and was especially pleased to share the spotlight with countryman Burton.

The outcome for Australia’s two top Laser sailors consolidates some outstanding recent form for the pair. Last month, Wearn won the 2018 World Championship Test Event at Aarhus, Denmark, in front of second-placed Burton. Burton’s victory at the Rio Games came only after he had narrowly secured a place as Australia’s representative in the Class ahead of Wearn.

Australian Sailing Team

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