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8 gold medals in one weekend

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Olympic champion: Ben Ainslie
Image: BBC

Four golds were won in Beijing on Saturday.

Sunday's success -

began with sailing trio Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson in the Yngling class. Then sailor Ben Ainslie secured his place in history with his third gold medal in successive Olympic games.

This year that required sailing on both Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday, with the wind blowing up to 20 knots, Ainslie was afloat an hour before his Finn rivals and virtually sailed the complete Yngling course in a magnificent show of support for the Sarahs Ayton and Webb and Pippa Wilson in their successful quest for the gold.

"That was an inspiration watching them," Ainslie said, demonstrating that he is also the humblest of men.

Ainslie, who lives in Lymington, put on 40 pounds and moved to the larger Finn class in the 2004 Summer Olympics. He sails with strength, skill and indomitable will.

Lightweight rowers Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase became the first Britons to win a gold in their category, while Rebecca Romero pulled off the stunning feat of winning medals in two different summer sports in the Olympics.

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