Caleb Paine competes at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 on Aug. 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Olympic bronze medalist Caleb Paine already had the gold medal cinched up before going into Saturday’s medal race at the sailing World Cup Series race in Miami, but that didn’t make the actual finish any less enjoyable.
It was the reward for a remarkably consistent week sailing in the Finn class for Paine, who only finished below second place one time throughout the week of racing and held a 23-point lead going into Saturday. Paine’s win was one of three for U.S. sailors in Miami.
The San Diego native wasn’t the only U.S. sailor on the Finn podium, either. Luke Muller entered the day in line to get the bronze medal, despite being tied with Canada’s Kyle Martin, who had the tiebreaker. Miller was able to maintain that position.
Paine was the only sailing medalist for Team USA in Rio. The U.S. has qualified in the Finn class once again for Tokyo, and Paine and Muller are among the sailors hoping to claim the lone spot.
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Another Olympic hopeful also strengthened her bid for spot in Tokyo with a gold medal in Laser Radial this weekend. Erika Reineke entered the day in the top spot but holding only a two-point lead over the boat in second place. She finished with the win by six points over silver medalist Vasileia Karachaliou of Greece.
Reineke sailed at Boston College and became the first athlete to win four singlehanded national championships before graduating in 2017 and turning her attention toward full-time training for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. She was also named US Sailing Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year in 2017.
Also winning a gold medal for the U.S. was 2016 Olympian Pedro Pascual, who entered the day in first place and captured the title in the men’s windsurfing RS:X class. Pascual, who was born in Mexico and went to high school in Saudi Arabia but now lists his hometown as Miami, made his Olympic debut at 20 and finished 28th. The U.S. narrowly missed collecting a fifth medal when Geronimo Nores slipped from third in the RS:X class going into the day to fifth after the medal race.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic and Paralympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.