In his Olympic debut in Rio, Tom Burton stormed home in the men's laser medal race to be crowned the 2016 Olympic Champion.
The Sydneysider needed to put five positions between himself and Croatia’s Tonci Stipanovic in order to win the gold in the final race at Marina de Gloria. He crossed the line in third as the Croatian crossed the line in ninth to give Burton top step on the podium.
Burton finished second at the World Championships in 2014 and went on to win two World Cups in 2015 in Hyeres and Abu Dhabi. He claimed Australia’s one Laser spot for Rio from fellow countryman Matt Wearn after a tough selection battle.
In the lead up to the London 2012 Games, Burton trained alongside Tom Slingsby, competing for the one Laser position on the Australian Team. Slingsby was selected and went on to claim gold at Weymouth.
Burton trains at Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Sydney, the same training base as fellow 2016 medallists Lisa Darmanin and Jason Waterhouse. He is coached by Sydney 2000 medallist Michael Blackburn, who also trained Slingsby.
He took up sailing at age nine, after following his dad to regattas. His Olympic dream was then sparked by a school excursion to Sydney Olympic Park during the Sydney 2000 Games.