Tokyo Olympics: WA’s Matt Wearn completes ‘victory lap’ for sailing gold medal

Chris Robinson & Rob ForsaithThe West Australian
Australia's Matt Wearn celebrates.
Camera IconAustralia's Matt Wearn celebrates. Credit: Bernat Armangue/AP

Matt Wearn successfully completed his “victory lap”, with the Perth sailor locking in his gold medal to make it four for the day for Australia - the most in the nation’s history.

The Royal Perth Yacht Club and Fremantle Sailing Club product couldn’t be beaten heading into today’s final race in the men’s laser sailing event, having built an unassailable lead on Friday.

Wearn held up an Aussie flag in delight upon officially securing his victory.

The triumph marked Australia’s third straight Olympic gold medal in the one-man class, with the 25-year-old following Tom Burton (Rio 2016) and Tom Slingsby (London 2012).

Australia's Matt Wearn celebrates.
Camera IconAustralia's Matt Wearn celebrates. Credit: Bernat Armangue/AP

It was Australia’s fourth gold medal of a super Sunday in Tokyo, the most our country has ever earned in a single day.

Emma McKeon helped secure two of them with her 50m freestyle win and by being part of our successful women’s 4x100m freestyle unit, before Logan Martin saluted in the men’s BMX freestyle final.

Australia's Matt Wearn secures gold.
Camera IconAustralia's Matt Wearn secures gold. Credit: Bernat Armangue/AP

The West Australian finished second in Sunday’s contest, calmly completing formalities in the waters off Enoshima as Croatian Tonci Stipanovic claimed silver ahead of Norway’s bronze medallist Hermann Tomasgaard.

The start of the race was delayed 10 minutes by the committee boat, but the Wearn cut a relaxed figure as he waited to make history.


Wearn said he was humbled to be a part of history among the quartet of Aussie gold medals for the day.

“It’s pretty phenomenal to be part of that,” Wearn said.

“To be able to add to the medal tally and bring a gold home today is amazing.”

Wearn, who edged Burton to represent Australia at these Games, started the regatta in unconvincing fashion while finishing 17th then 28th.

But he quickly climbed up the standings to enjoy an unassailable 22-point overall lead on Friday, admitting that night represented “probably the worst night’s sleep I’ve had”.

Wearn said it was “crazy” to think he was now a gold medallist.

“You can’t get any better than this,” he said.

Wearn celebrates.
Camera IconWearn celebrates. Credit: OLIVIER HOSLET/EPA

“From Day 1, this is all I wanted.

“For that dream to become a reality is so amazing. I couldn’t be happier right now.

“It felt quite strange in the pre-start to be holding back... you’re so used to pushing the limits all the time.

“But once we got into that race, all I wanted to do was win. The natural urges came out.

“But it’s great to finish in second place in the race and seal the deal.”

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