MEng Ship Science student Pavlos Kontides made history today by scoring a silver medal and becoming the first Olympic medalist for Cyprus, in the Mens Laser sailing competition held in Weymouth and Portland.
22 year old Kontides went into today’s race knowing that if he finished the medal race he would take home a silver medal and there was even the possibility of gold should Australia’s five-time World Champion Tom Slingsby, take his eye off the game.
Kontides said before the race that Tom ‘will probably match race and really keep close to me because he needs to be in the top seven and keep me out of the top three for gold.’
This meant that the Cypriot had to ‘find a tactic or something how I would be able to escape from him and then try to put places in between us.’
Slingsby had other plans, and kept Kontides, his biggest threat in today’s medal race, to the back of the fleet and sailed over the finishing line in 9th place to win gold. Kontides who sailed in in 10th place. Slingsby then thumped the water and capsized his boat in elation.
Team GB’s medal hope Paul Goodison, who won gold in Beijing, injured his back on Monday and finished 6th after the opening 10 races thus failed to make bronze going into the medal race.
For the past two academic years Kontides has suspended his studies for his MEng Ship Science in order to compete in all major sailing competitions in preparation for his Olympics campaign, it seems to have been worth it! Congratulations Pavlos Kontides!