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Olympic sailing duo Matt McGovern and Ryan Seaton go separate ways

By Adam McKendry

Northern Ireland sailing duo Matt McGovern and Ryan Seaton have announced they are ending their 49er partnership after a disappointing finish in the Rio Olympics.

Bangor's McGovern, 32, and Carrick's Seaton, 28, finished 10th in the 49er class in Rio for Team Ireland despite being fourth midway through the event.

It was a marked improvement on their 14th placed finish at the London Olympic Games back in 2012, but it wasn't quite as impressive as they would have liked it to be.

The pair went into the Olympics on a massive high after winning April's Princess Sofia Regatta in the Bay of Palma, but that proved to be their only success this year.

The announcement that they will not be competing together going forward means it is the end of a seven-year partnership having joined forces in 2009 with the goal of reaching the Olympics, which they achieved on two occasions.

"We have now decided to go our separate ways towards new adventures and life challenges," McGovern and Seaton said in a statement on their joint Facebook page. "It has been a complete honour to sail together.

"We spent our time travelling over the world, training with the best teams and not only having fun but working hard all the way.

"Our team-mates and other competitors became our rivals and some of our best mates for life. What a great pleasure it has been to sail with each other but we could not have achieved our dreams if it wasn't for all the family, friends, coaches, sponsors and supporters.

"It has been the most amazing life experience."

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