Defending champion Scott hoping to avoid rival 'Zombie' giving him an Olympic Finn fright

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Scott, 34, captured Finn glory in Rio and now leads his Tokyo rivals in the Enoshimo water
Scott, 34, captured Finn glory in Rio and now leads his Tokyo rivals in the Enoshimo water

From James Toney in Tokyo

Giles Scott will be chased by a sailor nicknamed Zombie as he seeks the defence of his Olympic title in Tokyo.

Scott leads rivals in Finn class and has guaranteed a medal before they line-up in Wednesday's double points medal race in Enoshimo.

Scott has only just returned to dinghy sailing following a spell calling the tactics for Ben Ainslie's British America's Cup campaign.

And he's taking nothing for granted as he carries a nine point advantage into his final race, with Hungary's Zsombor 'Zombie' Berecz, Spain's Joan Cardona Mendez and Australia's Jake Lilley all lurking ready to strike.

It means he can still finish down the fleet and still claim gold - but the famously ruthless four-time world champion is thinking big.

"I’m going to try and win it - that definitely means gold," he said.

"The guys are stacked up behind me and I’m not the only one whose been putting together an amazing series.

"I think, go back four years and there’s probably three people that would have almost won the regatta with a day to spare.

"To lead those guys out into the medal race you have to put together an amazing week and I’m grateful that I’ve managed to do that.

"I've probably sailed the best week of my life I think and hopefully I can finish it off in a couple of days."

Scott is no stranger to pressure, having learned his trade under four-time Olympic champion Sir Ben Ainslie.

British success in the Finn class dates back to Sydney 2000, where British team coach Iain Percy claimed gold, followed by three consecutive wins by Ainslie in Beijing, Athens and London, before Scott triumphed in Rio.

"I've got a buffer but the gold is certainly not a done deal," added Scott, who is able to train full-time and benefit from world class facilities, technology, coaching and support teams thanks to National Lottery funding – which has never been more important in getting her to the start line after a turbulent year.

"There's a medal now, short of a catastrophe, and that is amazing.

"I've been here before, so know what to expect.

"I’ve faced the intensity all week. Every day is super stressful. In sailing we deal with so many variables and it’s such a complex sport. I’m sure viewers find it pretty tricky to follow at times."

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