OLYMPIC SAILING: Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern remain in medal hunt in Rio

Ireland's Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern

Ireland's Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern

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It was a thrilling day in Rio for sailing duo Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern who began their Olympic 49er campaign with a solid start, finishing fifth overall.

The sailors secured the fifth position after finishing 14th and 2nd in races 1 and 2 on Friday.

Matt and Ryan are two of the six Irish sailors in Rio and are competing in the Men’s 49er sailing. There are also three sailors in the Irish Paralympic team.

RYANI’s Chief Operating Officer Richard Honeyford commented: “It is great to finally get racing started for the 49er fleet and it was a great start on the water for Matt and Ryan, finishing 2nd in race 2, leaving them fifth overall.

“Rio is proving a tough venue where consistency will be paramount.

“Matt and Ryan showed their skill today and it’s clear that their hard work is paying off. There is still a long way to go with 12 races in total up to Tuesday followed by the top 10 Medal race on Thursday.”

It’s been a long journey for Matt and Ryan after they secured qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games in September 2014 at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Spain.

The sailors, who are members of Ballyholme Yacht Club and Carrickfergus Sailing Club, have been training hard since they competed in the 2012 Olympics in London, where they finished 14th. They have strong support from all clubs and participants right across Northern Ireland.

RYA Northern Ireland is the governing body for sailing and boating in Northern Ireland. RYANI supports Matt and Ryan through funding from Sport Northern Ireland and by working with the Sports Institute Northern Ireland and the Irish Sailing Association’s Performance Team to ensure the best possible support to the team.