Preview of Race Day 7 at Rio Games
Published on August 14th, 2016
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (August 14, 2016) – The sun is shining and the weather is going to be a little warmer than recent days with a temperature of about 24 degrees Celsius expected. More importantly, a light to moderate south-south-easterly of about 9 to 10 knots is expected to kick in around midday, not dissimilar to yesterday.
With gold and silver already taken in the Men’s RS:X, the focus of their Medal Race will be on who will win bronze. It’s much more wide open in the Women’s RS:X, with seven of the ten competitors still in the hunt for gold.
It’s a rest day for the Men’s and Women’s One Person Dinghy fleets before their Medal Races tomorrow, and a rest day for the 49er and 49erFX fleets too, currently at the halfway stage of their qualifying series.
Men’s Windsurfer – RS:X
With Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) and Nick Dempsey (GBR) already wrapping up gold and silver before today’s Medal Race, all the focus will be on a three-way fight for the bronze medal.
Although reigning World Champion Piotr Myszka (POL) goes into the contest with a 2-point lead over Pierre Le Coq (FRA), the double-points format of the Medal Race means effectively that the Pole and Frenchman go in tied, while Byron Kokkalanis (GRE) still has a chance six points back.
Women’s Windsurfer – RS:X
Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) and Stefaniya Elfutina (RUS) are tied for the lead with a five-point advantage over the next three RS:X Women who are all tied on 60 points: Peina Chen (CHN), Charline Picon (FRA) and Maayan Davidovich (ISR).
And on 61 points is the reigning Olympic Champion Marina Alabau (ESP), while seventh-placed Lillian de Geus (NED) also has a mathematical shot at gold on 68 points. The stars would need to align for the Dutch sailor to become champion, but for the other six it’s a very realistic prospect.
Has there ever been a closer Medal Race in Olympic competition? The Women’s Laser Radial contest of London 2012 was an incredible four-way fight, but today’s battle on the Pão de Açucar (Sugarloaf Mountain) course could set a new standard for nail-biting finales.
Heavyweight Men’s One Person Dinghy – Finn
Giles Scott (GBR) has pulled out a 17-point lead after scoring 1,3 in races seven and eight of the qualifying series in the Finn fleet. Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) has consolidated his position in second overall while Jake Lilley’s (AUS) good day on Ponte course has lifted the Australian to third overall. Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) and Ivan Gaspic (CRO) are clawing their way into medal contention and sit on equal points.
With two races scheduled out on the ocean, on the Niterói course, Scott will be keen to stretch his lead to 21 points and wrap up the gold today rather than leave it to the vagaries of the Pão de Açucar (Sugarloaf Mountain) course where the four-time World Champion could only manage 17th place at the start of his otherwise stellar campaign.
Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Just six points separate the top six in the Women’s 470 standings. Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) hold a three-point lead over early series leaders Ai Kondo and Miho Yoshioka (JPN), who are tied on points with the reigning World Champions Camille Lecointre and Hélène de France (FRA).
Anne Haeger and Brian Provancha (USA), Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol (SLO) and defending Olympic Champions Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) are all well placed to jump into the top three if they can score two good results on the Copacabana course this afternoon.
Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
This was the battle we always expected in the Men’s 470, a duel between the reigning World Champions from Croatia and the reigning Olympic Champions from Australia. Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO) have barely put a trapeze boot wrong so far in Rio and hold a two-point advantage over Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS). Which of these two will make the best of the wavy conditions expected for their two races on Copacabana?
London 2012 silver medalist Luke Patience (GBR) is showing the determination to win another medal with his crew, Olympic first-timer Chris Grube, the British duo sitting ten points off the lead but only a point in front of Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE), with France and Sweden not far behind.
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17
French fans will be keeping their fingers crossed for the pre-event favorites, Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA), to continue their remarkable recovery from a slow start to the competition. Besson defied a severe back injury yesterday to put in scores of 2,1,1. This places the French in seventh overall and, at 16 points off the lead, they still have a lot to do today on Escola Naval race course for the final three races of the Mixed Multihull qualifying series.
Holding a three-point lead at the top of the table is the young crew of Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS), ahead of two teams tied for second, Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG) and Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves (GBR). New Zealand, Austria and Italy are not far away and could move into podium position if they perform well in today’s predicted moderate winds.
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Source: World Sailing