Cypriot laser sailor Pavlos Kontides achieved a childhood dream by winning the mens laser competition, as the Sailing World Cup in HyAres came to an end.
The 27-year old sailor, arriving back in Cyprus from France, said his new gold medal was a great success, the greatest after the silver medal he won at the London Olympics in 2012.
Pavlos Kontides triumphed by the narrowest of margins in the Hyeres. He trailed Italys Francesco Marrai by six points heading into the double point medal race, but produced a strong performance to pip his rival to gold. A second place proved enough to secure the gold medal, with Marrai coming across the finish line in fifth position.
Both sailors ended the regatta on 63 points, but Kontides prevailed based on the medal race result. Kontides said it was the 13th time he participated in the World Cup Series HyAres and it was a childhood dream to clinch the medal in this cup, let alone the gold medal.
After a very emotional and close race, he said, he managed to secure gold with the same points from Marrai and the other sailors, something that gives him great joy.
Speaking to reporters who greeted him at Larnaca International Airport, he said that he will rest for the next seven days and then will head to Croatia for preparations for the European sailing championship in the Netherlands at the end of May. He will then head to Spain for the final world championships.
Australias Matthew Wearn rounded off the top three, ending 15 points adrift of Kontides and Marrai.
Source: Cyprus News Agency