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Britain's Ben Ainslie celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the Finn class sailing race at the London 2012 Olympic Games in Weymouth and Portland, southern England, August 5, 2012. (BENOIT TESSIER/REUTERS)
Britain's Ben Ainslie celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the Finn class sailing race at the London 2012 Olympic Games in Weymouth and Portland, southern England, August 5, 2012. (BENOIT TESSIER/REUTERS)

Ben Ainslie becomes the most successful sailor in Olympic history Add to ...

Britain’s Ben Ainslie became the most successful Olympic sailor on Sunday, winning gold in the single-handed Finn class to claim a record-breaking fifth consecutive medal.

He then hinted he was quitting.

“You can never say never but I don’t think I can sail one of these again, it’s killing my body so I don’t think you will see me in Rio (for the 2016 Games),” he told the BBC.

“But it’s the best way to bow out at a home Olympics.”

Sailing in perfect, sunny conditions on home waters off the south coast of England, Ainslie added to his three golds and a silver in successive Games by beating Danish sailor Jonas Hogh-Christensen into the silver medal position on points.

Unfancied at the start of the Olympics, the Dane struggled to find the winning form he has shown all week and failed in his mission to defend the record of four golds held since 1960 by fellow countryman Paul Elvstrom.

Ainslie’s home crowd, packed onto the grassy slopes of the Nothe fort immediately above the race course, cheered the 35-year-old Briton around the three-lap race.