Great Britain's Emma Wilson took the bronze medal in the RS:X Women’s race, with gold going to China’s Yunxiu Lu.
Victory in the medal race went to defending champion Charline Picon, but Lu’s third-placed finish was enough to secure gold.
Picon started the day in third, with Wilson occupying second, but the Frenchwoman turned that deficit around.
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The conditions were fairly benign in Sagami Bay, and they played to Picon’s advantage as she made a rapid start on the upwind section and never looked in any danger.
At times Lu looked in trouble - as she repeatedly took breaks from pumping her sail - and on the second upwind section she had dropped to seventh place.
However, a wonderful layline heading towards the final upwind turn saw Lu move into third behind Picon and Wilson.
That position was good enough to secure gold and she ensured no other competitors were able to get past.
Picon took a look over her shoulder at the final turn, and it resulted in a despondent shake of the head as she saw Lu was in third. For Wilson, in what was her first Olympics, it was a wonderful result to claim third.
Immediately after getting ashore at the Olympic marina at Enoshima, Wilson said: It’s amazing — it doesn’t feel real.
“It was really, really hard — really physical — I just gave it everything I had.
“The first lap I got in a bit of muddle.
“The second lap I just absolutely rinsed my body and got back to second. It wasn’t good enough for gold or silver, but still a bronze medal is pretty good. I’m really happy — just tired.”
“I just gave absolutely everything. I can say with my whole heart that that’s what I did this week and it’s something to be proud of.
“I hope I can keep going and maybe do even better in Paris,”
In the men's event, Britain's Tom Squires had an outside chance of a medal heading into the final race, but he ended up finishing seventh.
Squires said: "The Olympics is all geared to medals and obviously there is a lot of pressure on that.
"I can come away feeling proud of my achievement.
"It’s not the life-changing moment that a medal would be, but as long as you are content with your performance, you can sleep at night afterwards.”
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