Australian yatchsmen Mat Belcher and Will Ryan have begun their Olympic gold defence well.
Australian yatchsmen Mat Belcher and Will Ryan have begun their Olympic gold defence well. TXEMA OLIVER

RIO 2016: Defending champs start well on water

SAILING: Reigning Olympic champions Mat Belcher and crew Will Ryan will be hoping for more success when the 470 racing continues Friday in Rio.

The duo is in the silver medal position after day one in tough conditions, with rain and wind the order of the day.

The Aussies finished in eighth in race one and came back to win the second race.

"Today's conditions were probably some of the most difficult conditions I've experienced here, if not in my career,” Belcher said at the end of day one.

"The Games are meant to be difficult and challenging and we saw that today. Will and I were really happy.

"We were back in the fleet in a lot of cases and fought our way forward to post two good results.

"Coming back and getting that win in the second race was important for our confidence.

"We're really well prepared coming into this event.

"We're in good shape mentally, good shape physically and the boat is going well. It's nice to have had our first win of the regatta.”


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