Josh Junior fifth after gutsy medal race in Tokyo Olympics

Kiwi sailor Josh Junior has finished fifth overall in the men's finn at the Tokyo Olympics this afternoon.

Josh Junior in action at the Tokyo Olympics. Source: Photosport

Junior entered this afternoon's medal race in Enoshima in fourth place, eight points behind third-placed Joan Cardona Mendez of Spain. Hungary's Zsombor Berecz was only a further two points ahead in the silver medal position. 

That meant Junior would need to finish four places above the Spaniard in order to have a chance at a medal, with points in the medal race of an Olympic regatta worth double.

The medal race got off to a wild start with regatta leader Giles Scott of Great Britain forced to double back and begin his race again after crossing the start line early.

That allowed Australia's Jake Lilley to take the lead into the first mark ahead of Berecz but Scott had already managed to claw his way back into fourth.

Unfortunately for Junior, a decision to go to the far right of the course proved costly with the Kiwi sitting in ninth after the first mark, 34 seconds back from Lilley.

However, as luck would have it, a course change mid-race had a massive effect on the Kiwi as he managed to sieze the moment and surged to third at the second mark - only three places ahead of Cardona Mendez though.

It had the opposite effect on Scott, who fell back to seventh, allowing Berecz to slip into the gold medal spot midway through the race.

Things were much more settled at the third mark with Lilley still leading, Berecz in second and Junior holding third.

Scott had pushed up to sixth though while Cardona Mendez had fallen back to ninth, meaning heading into the fourth leg Junior was now in the bronze medal position.

The race closed right up on the second downwind league though in fickle winds.

That had a devastating effect on Junior as he fell back to eighth at the finish line with Cardona Mendez taking the bronze and Berecz claiming silver despite winning the race.

Scott added to a golden afternoon for British sailing with his fourth-place finish in the medal race enough to top the podium, an hour after Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell snatched the 49er crown from New Zealand's Peter Burling and Blair Tuke.