American Kevin Burnham politely waved to race officials at the finish line, let out a whoop and did a back flip into the deep-blue Saronic Gulf. It was a gold medal splashdown, one he'd been waiting a long time to do.
Burnham and his skipper, Paul Foerster, outwitted and outmaneuvered their British rivals in a classic match race in the 470 class to win their first Olympic gold after years of trying.
"Absolutely unbelievable," Burnham said. "When I saw the finish line and the Brits behind us and I knew they couldn't win, I was just so happy."
After winning Olympic silver medals, the experienced Americans weren't interested in finishing second again.
"This is my fourth Olympics, I've had two second places, and you always think, 'Well, we won the silver, but it's kind of a letdown not winning the regatta,' " said Foerster, 40. "It's nice not having a letdown. It feels great."
British skipper Nick Rogers, 27, and crew Joe Glanfield, 25, got the silver.
"We knew it would be tough to beat the Americans because they had enough silver to dunk a donkey," Glanfield said. "They wanted a gold. They did a good job."
Their countryman, Ben Ainslie, won gold in the Finn class. In the Star class, Americans Paul Cayard and Phil Trinter won their Olympic debut and were sixth in the second race to take an early lead in the standings.
-- From News Services