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Sam Meech silver adds to Kiwi 49er gold

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 1/05/2016

Sam Meech has added silver to New Zealand's two-medal haul at the World Cup regatta in Hyeres, France and given himself the inside running for Olympic selection.

Meech did enough in the medal race to finish second in the competitive class while Peter Burling and Blair Tuke went through the motions to secure another 49er gold medal.

Holding a massive 48-point advantage, Burling and Tuke were assured of a 26th successive regatta victory ahead of the medal race, where they finished fourth in stormy conditions on Sunday.

It was more competitive in the Laser class, where Meech placed third in the medal race to jump two places behind German winner Philipp Buhl.

The medal race was won by Kiwi Andy Maloney, who improved to fifth to remind the selectors of his ability as they mull their single-hand crew selections for Rio.

Tauranga's Meech hopes he has done enough.

"I guess we'll find out. I've just been trying to sail as well as I can and get the best overall result I can to give me the best chance," he said.

"Obviously, it's coming close to our selection so finishing in front of the other Kiwis hopefully helps."

Another to boost his Rio selection chances was Finn sailor Josh Junior, who finished fourth overall after an eighth placing in the medal race.

His chief rival, double Olympian Andrew Murdoch, was 12th.

The pair will contest the world championship starting in Italy on Thursday.

New Zealand collected a second medal race win through Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie. The London Olympic champions improved two places to fourth overall.

Of the other Rio-bound double-hand crews, men's 470 Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox finished sixth, 49erFX pair Alex Maloney and Molly Meech were ninth and Nacra 17 duo Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders placed 11th.

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