Anxiously anticipating this moment for over two years, Australian sailor Matt Wearn is finally here. The Perth native was one of the first Aussies chosen for Tokyo 2020, back in September of this year, and he has been training hard in the laser class ever since. Wearn’s Olympic debut was pushed back even further due to the delay caused by the covid.
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M. Wearn Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
When the big day finally arrived on Sunday, it was almost devoid of drama. After winning 10 of the 11 qualifying races throughout the week, Wearn’s lead was insurmountable.
Wearn didn’t have to do much to win the race on the Enoshima Yacht Harbour; he just had to get the boat going and back in the water before the finish line. In Tokyo 2020, the silver medalist from the previous world championships won gold, making it a record-breaking day for Australia as they won a total of four medals.
“I’ve wanted to do this for at least 15 years,” Wearn stated. “I’m ecstatic that my Olympic dream has come true,” I said after winning a gold medal.
Wearn has consistently outperformed the other 35 sailors on his team. The 25-year-old recovered from a rough start by placing in the top four in each of the next four races. Taking first place at the finish line in races seven and eight gave Wearn a commanding lead, and steady performances in the final two qualifying races ensured him of the gold.
Despite the fact that he only needed to finish the race to win gold, Wearn finished second in the final race of his category. “It was good to go out there today and enjoy the race and end off with a second place in the medal race,” he added afterward.
Winner Wearn, a past male sailor of the year for Sailing Australia, has ensured that his country remains unrivalled in the laser class. Tom Slingsby of Australia won the Olympics in London in 2012, and Tom Burton of Australia won in Rio in 2016.
After the Olympics were delayed last year, Wearn gave an interview Australia in which he emphasised the benefits of having an extra year to prepare. He had previously commented, “The delay is a fantastic opportunity to tick off a few more one-percenters that we might not have been able to work on prior to July.” The fact that we will always have new ideas on how to use our extra time is a great benefit.
Wearn has spent the past week using his newly acquired skills in the challenging environment of Enoshima. The West Australian’s remarkable run to the gold medal from the third race on was all the more remarkable given his slow start to the competition. The rest of the talented field couldn’t hold a candle to Wearn’s composure and technical mastery.
Australia’s sailing team will keep competing next week in the Olympics in the hopes of winning a medal. Over halfway through the season, Mathew Belcher and William Ryan, 470 class five-time world champions, are in first place. On Wednesday, if the winds cooperate, they will compete for the medal.