Tom Slingsby congratulates Tom Burton on Olympic Gold

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Tom Slingsby podium

One of the first to post congratulations to Tom Burton when he won the Olympic Laser Gold at Rio earlier today was the man who won the title four years ago at London 2012, Tom Slingsby.

No-one knows better the sacrifices and physical demands that a successful Olympic campaign demands than Slingsby. He went into Beijing 2008 as the favourite and came away in 22nd place, overcame his disappointment, put his head down and worked for four more years before winning the London title by a large margin.

I asked Slingsby for a comment on Burton's win and he responded: "I'm so happy for Tom winning the gold today. I still remember the day he first came and sailed with our training group as a fresh-faced 16-year-old. He has a great attitude, great work ethic and is just a great guy."
Slingsby also paid tribute to the coach who helped both men to Olympic glory, Michael Blackburn.
"Blackers is responsible for creating the environment in Australian Laser sailing that we share and help each other to get better. We know only one person will get the chance to compete at the Olympics but let's all be as good as we can possibly be and then 'let the best man win!'.
"Blackers did that with myself, I did it with TB and TB is doing it with our future sailors. That mentality is all because of what Blackers started."
Australian Laser sailing is in very good hands. Let's make it Fortress Australia, that no other nation can storm.
- Roger McMillan in Rio


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