Tokyo 2020: Pray for an upset

Published on July 15th, 2021

You know what they say about opinions. Everyone has one. I will spare you the rest of the quote to avoid offense, but if you’re preparing your national outfits for the upcoming Olympic Games, and are eager to applaud North American podium celebrations, pray for an upset.

However, the good news is this continent hasn’t had many (any?) medal moments since 2004 when a top three finish was expected, so if this report by Andy Rice for Yachting World regarding the Tokyo Olympic favorites has any validity, these are the people that must fail for North America to succeed:

49er Men
America’s Cup winners earlier this year, Pete Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) now turn their attention back to Olympic sailing in Tokyo as they try to defending their Rio 2016 gold. The current Olympic Champions remain the favorites to win 49er skiff gold for New Zealand.

Bronze medallists from Rio 2016, Erik Heil and Tommy Ploessel (GER), always turn it on for the big occasion.

Other serious podium contenders are Diego Botin and Iago Marra (ESP), Great Britain’s 2017 World Champions Dylan Fletcher and Stu Bithell, along with strong teams from Denmark, Croatia and Austria.

The 49erFX gold and silver medalists from Rio 2016 – respectively Brazil’s Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze and New Zealand’s Alex Maloney and Molly Meech – will be in contention for the Tokyo podium.

They will face strong competition from Tamara Echegoyen and Paula Barcelo (ESP, 2020 World Champions) the Dutch duo of Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz (NED, 2018 World Champions) and 2020 European Champions Tina Lutz and Susann Beucke (GER).

Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey (GBR) have always been strong in the breeze, and one of the USA’s few realistic medal hopes lies with Steph Roble and Maggie Shea (USA). – Full report

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Program
Men’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 7
Women’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6
Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy – Finn
Men’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Women’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17

Original dates: July 24 to August 9, 2020
Revised dates: July 23 to August 8, 2021

Event detailsHow to watch in USA

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