Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern into medal race at Rio test event

Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern
Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern

Northern Ireland's sailors Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern have qualified for the 49er medal race final at the Olympic Test event in Rio.

Carrickfergus man Seaton and Bangor native McGovern qualified 10th after earning two second places in Thursday's races at next year's Olympic venue.

The test event is being held to give competitors a chance to familiarise themselves with the Rio waters.

The Irishmen will compete in the medal race on Friday evening.

At last September's World Championships in Spain, Seaton and McGovern secured Irish 49er qualification for the Rio Games as they finished eighth overall.

The qualification process merely secures Olympic spots for the nations involved rather than the individual sailors.

However, Seaton and McGovern don't appear to have any realistic rivals for Ireland's 49er berth in Brazil.

The Northern Ireland duo competed in the event at the London Olympics where they finished a creditable 14th.

Earlier this week, a South Korean coach blamed the Rio waters for making one of his sailors ill.

Sailors in the area have reported seeing pollution, including furniture and floating animal carcasses, while nearly 70% of sewage in the Brazilian city is spilled raw into its waters.

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