Coach: 'I knew Giles would be an Olympic champion'

Great Britain's Giles Scott celebrates with his gold medal won in the Men's Finn on the eleventh day of the Rio Olympic Games, Brazil. Credit: PA

The man who coached Giles Scott during his junior years said he knew hisprotege would become an Olympic champion from when he was just a young boy.

Scott clinched his medal yesterday in sailing's Finn class on the 11th day of the games in Rio.

Simon Cray, credited by Scott's father John as "the first man to say 'thisguy can go places"', coached Scott during his junior years from the age of 10 at Hollowell Sailing Club, Northampton.

The 58-year-old said: "I had the privilege of working with Giles during hisjunior years. We knew he had a special talent then and to see him now reaching gold at the Olympics is just absolutely wonderful."

Asked if he knew the young boy he was coaching would climb to the coveted top spot, he replied with a simple "Yes", adding: "I knew he would, I said he would be."

Great Britain's Giles Scott during the men's Finn Men Medal Race on the eleventh day of the Rio Olympics Games, Brazil. Credit: PA

He said:

"He was a great talent to work with and I feel extremely privileged to havebeen part of that."

Mr Cray was watching the race unfold with Scott's parents on a big screen at Grafham Water Sailing Club - where Scott first learned to sail aged seven.

Mr Scott, 64, said:

"Obviously we're over the moon.

"It's been fabulous watching the Olympics unfold and the joy in everyone'sface. To experience that yourself is unique, it's fabulous."

Cheering Scott on from the shore in Rio, older brother Nick said he was feeling simply "happy, happy, happy" at the result.

The 31-year-old, from Loughborough, said:

"It's definitely different actually being here, being in the surroundings, seeing him cross that finish line, hearing the crowd, seeing all the union jacks - it's amazing, absolutely amazing."