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London 2012 Olympic sailing: Ben Ainslie won’t rule out Rio

Ben Ainslie is refusing to rule out competing for a fifth successive Olympic sailing gold medal at Rio 2016

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Ben Ainslie has refused to rule out competing for a fifth successive Olympic sailing gold medal at Rio 2016.

The greatest ever Olympic sailor fought back from a disappointing start to pick up gold medal number four in Weymouth last week, with a thrilling display of experienced racing in the finn class.

With a silver medal from his first Games in 1996 also to his name, Ainslie is the sport’s most successful ever, but many have thought his home Games would be his last.

But the 35-year-old says it is too early to say either way whether he will go in search of gold number five in four years’ time.

Ainslie was speaking after being unveiled as Britain’s flagbearer for the London 2012 closing ceremony.

“It’s a great honour for me and sailing and I think for the whole nation really,” said Ainslie on being asked to carry the flag into the Olympic Stadium.

“It’s been a fantastic Games and we will all be very proud for that final closing ceremony.

“I spoke to Andy Hunt the head of the BOA and he offered me the responsibility, and of course I jumped at it and I’m very grateful.

“Rio 2016 is a long way off yet and a lot can happen so I don’t know if I will be there just yet. My next involvement is with the Americas Cup so I’m really looking forward to getting into that and we will see about 2016 in the future.

“This Olympics didn’t necessarily start that well for me.

“I was struggling to find my speed and I had to fight all the away through to the end, and thankfully it came good.

“But it was a very tough series, and I’m still recovering to be honest.”

Lloyds TSB, proud supporter of Team GB and proud partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Get closer to the Games at lloydstsb.com/london2012

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