A scramble for medal race places in the last two races for the Laser and Radial
Last night Australia’s Tom Slingsby said he had finally found his form having been disappointed with his performance through the week. He had overtaken the Cypriot sailor Pavols Kontides to take a slim 5 point lead with a healthier margin of 25 points over third. As the fleet headed into the final two races today, Silingsby’s passage to the medal race looked solid. Sadly the same could not be said for Britain’s Paul Goodison who is having a painful Olympics and scored an 18th and 12th yesterday to leave him 8th overall, just 8 points clear of the medal fleet cut off. He is getting perilously close to being out of contention for a medal and possibly not even making the medal race itself.
Just a few months ago, few would have argued that the pair to watch in this class were Slingsby and Goodison, two sailors in a league of their own. But on the opening day Goodison put his back out badly. While he wouldn’t confirm precisely what the problem was the way that he was hobbling around the dinghy park, the tears of pain in his eyes and the talk of the serious medication that had left him feeling ‘a bit hungover’, proved that his injury was serious.
He has put a brave face on for the media, but it is clear to see that the physical pain is affecting both his sailing and his mental game, while the agony of seeing so many years of work slip away is also taking its toll. Today is crucial.
In the women’s Radial, the competition has tightened up considerably with Belgium’s Evi van Acker slipping into the lead by just one point over Ireland’s Annalise Murphy. Holland’s Marit Boumeester is just two points behind Murphy and China’s Lija Xu just four points further back. Britain’s Alison Young is currently lying 5th but still within striking distance of the medals if she has a good day today.
The forecast for the breeze is for it to start to reduce which will work against Murphy and Young but they still need to get good results today to stay in the game.