The Northern Territory news Sat 31 Jul 2021
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
SATURDAY JULY 31 2021 LIFESTYLE 31 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA IF life had been just a little different, Matt Wearn might have been lining up in an AFL match this weekend, not about to pull a gold medal around his neck at his first Olympic Games. But thats what the Perth sailor will be attempting on Sunday after staging one of the most remarkable comebacks of the sailing competition. Wearn is so far ahead of his nearest rival, he pretty much only needs to start the final race to have the gold medal around his neck. He started his campaign for gold with a whimper by recording a shock 17th and 28th in his first races of the regatta. He is now hoping to end it with a bang after stringing together six races within the top four and a 12th and eighth on Friday to go into Sundays medal race as favourite. Wearn, who opted for sailing over Aussie rules because he liked to be master of my own destiny, will have a lay day on Saturday to prepare for the double point-scoring medal race. While all eyes will be on Wearn chasing sailings first medal of the Games, they will soon turn to veteran skipper Mat Belcher and Will Ryan who hope to deliver a second medal for Australia early next week and a piece of history for Belcher. A medal at Tokyo will make Gold Coast father-of-two Belcher the first Australian sailor to win three medals after a gold in 2012 and silver in 2016. And if its a gold, he will become the first Australian skipper to twice be an Olympic sailing champion. Gold would have Ryan, from Newcastle, join an elite club as a dual Olympic medallist. We are pretty relaxed about it all and just enjoying the sailing together, said Ryan after the pair posted a fourth and third in ultralight winds on Friday. There wasnt a lot of wind but we didnt have any dramas. Teammate Mara Stransky left the racetrack in tears and inconsolable on Thursday after being disqualified for a false start to her race. Less than 24 hours later, the Queenslander was all smiles as she raced to her first win in the Olympic arena on the final day of Laser Radial racing. Stransky, who has lived on a boat most of her life, is being targeted for the Paris Olympics in 2024. I didnt want to go back to Austra lia to two weeks of quarantine and have to think about ending the regatta on a bad note, she said. I was not happy with the other day. I didnt want it to end like that. Victorian brothers Will and Sam Phillips had a day they would prefer to forget, falling to 11th place in the 49er skiffs after a false start under a black flag and then a 19th. It was just a shocker day on the water, Will said. The pair still has enough time to move up the rankings and into the top 10, which will race for medals next week. AMANDA LULHAM IN TOKYO 07 Aussie sailor Matt Wearn competes in the men's laser class in Fujisawa. He just needs to finish or avoid disqualification on Sunday to win the gold medal. Picture: Getty THE AUSSIE WHO ONLY HAS TO SHOW UP TO WIN GOLDEN GUARANTEE WHEN TO WATCH Matt Wearn in mens laser medal race Sunday from 3.30pm AEST AUSSIE BMX rider Saya Sakakibara finished her heartbreaking run at the Tokyo Olympics, saying she feels like she let her older brother down. The 21-year-olds brother Kai suffered life-altering injuries in a major crash while competing at the Bathurst World Cup in February last year. He spent eight weeks in a coma, before he was moved from a hospital in Canberra to the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit in Sydney. The sibling duo had dreamed of going to their first Olympics together, and Saya had made it her goal to come home with a medal for Kai. But her dream crumbled in her second semi-final heat on Friday, when she and top US rider Alise Willoughby collided, and crashed down on to the concrete track. Sakakibara, who was leading the heat and well on her way to qualifying for the finals, lay motionless on the track as medics rushed to her aid. She was stretchered off the course and assessed by doctors. At the time Saya showed signs of a mild concussion, but after 30 minutes fully recovered and was medically cleared. Her first questions to the medics were did I qualify? and can I compete?, but sadly she missed out on a finals spot by just one position. The 21-year-old broke down in tears after speaking to her family and being released from the medical tent, saying she felt like shed let her brother, and Australia, down. Seeing my family was really emo tional, because they were so happy to see I was OK and I feel like I let them down so much, she said. I just wanted to show Kai everything hes done for me. I just wanted to give him a really great result for both of us. I cant believe its all over. Willoughby was also knocked out of finals following the crash, which her husband Sam said really hurt. Sam, an Australian Olympic BMX medallist, knows all too well the dangers of BMX racing after a crash left him paraplegic. I let my brother down: Aussie BMX rider is shattered after crashing out MADELINE CRITTENDEN A gutted Lauren Reynolds after finishing fifth in the BMX final.
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