Rivals Spat Spices Up Sailing Event in 2012 London Games
2012 London Summer Olympics
Their fierce rivalry is well-known, but the competition between top sailors Paul Goodison and Tom Slingsby for medals at London 2012 took a new twist following a sailing incident at a key warm-up regatta.
Olympic champ Goodison had a 'heated argument in the pub' with world champ Slingsby after the Weymouth pre-Olympic regatta.
British Laser class champion Goodison, who finished outside the podium positions in fourth in the Skandia Sail for Gold event on Olympic waters last June 9, raised the issue of a 'covering' manoeuvre orchestrated by Slingsby's Australian compatriot Tom Burton.
According to Goodison, who won the gold medal at the 2008 Games, Burton had deliberately blocked him, causing him to finish outside the medals. Burton took home the silver.
The alleged move incensed Goodison, who reportedly admitted that his friendship with Slingsby has been strained as the build-up to the Games intensifies.
Slingsby, 27, a strong contender for a gold medal in the Laser event, has been dominating the class, the same way he did four years ago heading to the summer Olympics in Beijing.
Slingsby, aiming to become the British champion's main rival in August, has won five world titles, including the last two World Championships.
In 2010, he dominated event in Hayling Island, where Goodison managed to finish a disappointing 9th. Slingsby also stamped his class last December in Perth, where Goodison placed fifth.
But Goodison, who has apparently learned to pace himself as a result of his disastrous campaign in Athens where he peaked too soon before the 2004 Games, is expected to replicate his impressive feat in 2008. Slingsby finished 23rd in the 2008 competitions.
Meanwhile, Australian sailors bagged four gold medals and a silver on the final day of the 2012 Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta last June 9.
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