It was the first medal for a female British windsurfer since Bryony Shaw’s bronze in Beijing in 2008.
After an impressive campaign in which she only once finished outside the top five in 12 preliminary races, the 22-year-old had the luxury of starting the final double-points race secure in the knowledge that the elusive place on the podium was in the bag.
In benign conditions that contrasted sharply with those of most of the qualifying rounds, Wilson ceded the silver medal position to Charline Picon of France who streaked over the line in first place.
China’s Lu Yunxiu, who knew she would take gold so long as she closely trailed her two medal rivals, carefully tracked Wilson over the line before all three medallists celebrated by leaping into the sea.
Bronze for Wilson represented the first medal for a female British windsurfer since Bryony Shaw took bronze in Pékin dans 2008.
And there was particular satisfaction for the Wilson household after her mother, Penny Way, finished in sixth and seventh positions in the same category in the 1992 et 1996 Games respectively.