Laser's 'El Demolidor' seeks last medal at home

Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:38am EDT
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By Jeb Blount

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Robert Scheidt, one of three Olympic sailors to win five medals, two of them gold, reckons he has a good chance of making it six when racing begins on Aug. 8 at home in Rio de Janeiro.

And if the medal is gold, even better.

It won't match the four Olympic golds won by former British arch-rival Ben Ainslie, now racing America's Cup boats.

It will, though, let the man known as 'El Demolidor' (The Demolisher) pass the medal haul of Ainslie and Brazilian Torben Grael, former Star- and Soling-class champion and Brazilian Team head coach, the only other five-time Olympic sailing medalists.

A sixth medal in six Games, gold or not, would be a good way for the 43-year-old Scheidt to end his Olympic career.

Win or not he is already Brazil's greatest ever Olympian, his two silvers and a bronze edging Grael's single silver and two bronze, with both having won two golds. Scheidt's individual record will likely stand for some time.

"If I can be consistent and avoid mistakes, I'm confident I have a medal shot," Scheidt told reporters this week at a Brazilian sailing team event in Rio.

"But the Laser is one of the classes where sailors are most aggressive," he added. "People are well prepared physically and the foreigners have come here to prepare and know the courses."   Continued...

Brazilian Olympic team sailor Robert Scheidt sails his laser yacht during a training session in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 22, 2016. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes