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Clark fails in bid to defend world title
4:04pm Monday 12th August 2013 in Sport
Olympic silver medallist Saskia Clark was unable to defend her world title.
The Mersea Island sailor, along with helm Hannah Mills, was competing in the 470 World Championships in La Rochelle.
The pair failed to make it to Saturday’s eight-boat medal race after a disappointing day on Thursday out on the water.
They crossed the finish line second in their opening race of the day but were adjudged to have been over the startline early — a mistake which then repeated itself in the second race when they otherwise would have taken the gun ahead of team-mates Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre.
The defending champions redeemed themselves to some extent with a fifth in the third and final race of the day, but with an overall 16th position they left themselves too much to do on Friday to make the top eight.
They pulled up to 12th overall with a tenth and fourth place finish from their final two races.
It was Clark and Mills’ first competitive event since last year’s Olympic Games and the pair knew that it was going to be a tough ask to defend their title.
Speaking about Thursday’s racing, Clark said: “In terms of learning from our mistakes our decisions around the racecourse were much better, we were thinking about things ahead of time which we feel we’ve been quite bad at during the week.
“Unfortunately in a three-race day we had two OCSs. We actually felt like we’d sailed a really good day, but we’ve come off the water with one score and two loads of letters so not a great day.”
New Zealand’s Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie added the women’s world title to their 2012 Olympic gold, with silver going to Austria’s Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar, and China’s Wang Xiaoli and Huang Xufeng taking bronze.
Britain’s Weguelin and McIntyre finished in fifth place.
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