Anna Burnet made sure of an Olympic medal after a white-knuckle day of racing on the high seas in Tokyo.

The Hammersmith sailor, racing alongside John Gimson in the mixed multihull Nacra-17 class, finished second and fourth on the penultimate day to make sure of a medal on their Olympic debuts.

Both of the Brits were overcome with emotion when it was clear they had secured a podium place with Gimson reflecting on the culmination of 20 years of hard work.

“Obviously, we’d love to win a gold medal but I’m not going to lie, we shed a few tears after the result,” said Gimson.

“For me personally, it’s been a 20 year journey and it’s a big relief to show myself that I can actually do it. Words can’t describe it honestly.”

Consistency has been the key for the British pair in the most unpredictable Olympic class, with changes in strength and direction of wind also to deal with.

But in an entire week of racing in Enoshima, Gimson and Burnet have never fallen from the front of the fleet, sitting 12 points behind gold medal position and 12 in front of bronze.

Catching leaders Ruggero Titi and Caterina Banti, the 2018 world champions, has proved too tall a task with the Italians finishing in the top three in eight of ten races.

The two crews are training partners and it’s clear they have both played a role in each other’s success.

“It’s like every day in training, it’s quite funny really,” said Gimson.

“It feels like some of the training races where we’re just battling it out between each other.

“We both enjoy it and I know the Italians enjoy the rivalry. We’re reasonably good mates, we are good friends and they’ve sailed well this week - really well.”

Gimson and Burnet have an outstanding record of finishing in the top three at major events and have delivered on the biggest stage of them all.

“Today was one of those days where it’s completely make or break for the regatta,” said Gimson.

“It’s either be one of the boats that are going to come out in the medal race with a points gap or be one of the boats in the mix.

“So we were really happy with how we performed. We’ve put a lot of days in and the last four years we’ve really worked on speed.

“I think in this discipline it goes a very long way so we’re happy. It showed our hard work had come to fruition.”

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