Dana Johannsen is the NZ Herald's chief sports reporter

Rio Olympics 2016: Sam Meech's bid for medal on hold

Sam Meech will have to wait another day for a shot at an Olympic medal. Photo / AP
Sam Meech will have to wait another day for a shot at an Olympic medal. Photo / AP

Sam Meech's bid to clinch New Zealand's first sailing medal of the Rio Olympics has been put on hold.

The medal race in the Laser fleet has been postponed until tomorrow after the breeze failed to eventuate on the inner harbour course of Guanabara Bay. Meech is ranked third heading into the double-points medal race, with the handy nine-point buffer over Frenchman Jean Baptiste Bernaz, who is in fourth.

The light winds also meant a delay in the men's and women's 470 programmes, forcing them to use tomorrow's reserve day.

On the outside courses, organisers were able to complete the three scheduled races in 49er and 49er FX programme, with the Kiwi crews once again excelling.

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have extended their lead on the rest of the fleet out to 18 points after another impressive day on the race course.If they can stretch that lead out to 20 points by the end of tomorrow's three races they will be assured gold.

The four-time world champions recorded three top three finishes today, including a win in the final race to hold a commanding lead with just three qualifying races remaining before the medal race.

After nine races the ruthlessly consistent pair have a net score of just 21 points, while the next best-placed team, Germany's Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel are on 39 points.

In the 49er FX, Alex Maloney and Molly Meech moved up to second place overall following two strong scoring results. They recorded finishes of 6th, 12th and 3rd today, but were able to drop their result from the middle race.

Maloney and Meech trail the leading Spanish crew by four points, with the Brazilian pairing of Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze just one point behind the Kiwi crew in a congested leaderboard.

- NZ Herald

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