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Olympic Logbook. Day nine

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All 2 weeks of the sailing Olympics itBoat maintains «logbook», reporting on the main events and achievements of each day.

Yesterday saw a dramatic conclusion to the women's Laser Radial regatta with a tightly fought out close race as the top two finished on equal points with the closest two only one point behind. It was clear that it was these four who would compete for the Olympic medal: Ligia Xu (China), Marit Bouwmeester (Denmark), Evi van Acker (Belgium) and Annalise Murphy (Ireland). The Irishwoman was the overall favourite (she had good knowledge of local conditions and difficult waters), but so far, to everyone's surprise, the Chinese sailing girl was the leader.
So yesterday at the distance was expected very serious women's fight was expected yesterday. After the start, as has become customary in this area, most of the female riders rushed to the left, but after a few seconds after the start, Xu turned to the right. This was a big risk - the day before, on one lap, the right hand led Ben Ainslie and a few laps later lost Jonas Hoig-Christensen. Xu, however, was going strong and a few minutes later rounded the top mark second. First was Murphy, third was Brit Ellisong Jung of «statistics». At this rate, Xu was on her way to gold - but soon after rounding the mark, the empires punished her with a penalty. Despite this, the Chinese woman showed great skill and a tough unyielding will - at the bottom gate she was already leading the race, with Bowmeester second and Jung third. Murphy couldn't cope with her nerves and fell back to ninth from first position.

However, women's sport is a peculiar and almost unpredictable thing.

It is because of psychological peculiarities of a woman's body. On the second tack Xu still held first position, Murphy was able to return to second, but Bouwmeester fell to eighth. Such sharp differences in position are very rare for men.
The third lap was a sight to behold! The Chinese woman still led the race, but Jung, Bouwmeester and Murphy were very close to each other - it seemed that the regatta could use the photo-finish equipment. However, the unevenness of the medal contenders' performances continued in the final stretch: the Chinese sailor kept the lead, Bouwmeester stayed second and the Irish sailor was again let down by her nerves - third place went to Evie van Acker. For the first time at an Olympic regatta, the awards were distributed between the athletes exactly in the order of their finishes in the medal race. On the background of the sobbing Irishwoman, who has never learned how to sail a full course, Ligeia Xu, the former Olympic bronze medallist of 2008
looked very confident and impressive after the finish: there was a minimum of emotion on her face. China's progress in sailing was undeniable.

Perhaps soon, in other classes, sailors from traditional sailing countries will have to make way for the podium.

No less interesting story unfolded in the men's Laser final. The story was no less interesting in the men's Laser final. Tom Slingsby «(by the way, he's being coached by our» coach) got on start of the race to guarantee a gold medal. Victor Kovalenko) started the race with a guaranteed medal in his pocket. The only question was its dignity - gold or silver. The same question was in front of the Cypriot Pavlos Kontides. - The two yachtsmen had to fight for the gold or silver. But here he swiftly settled it: Slingsby was unstoppable from the start and won the first tack. On the second tack Contides definitely gave up psychologically, not even trying to pass those racers who separated him from the Australian's boat. The result - second place and first Olympic medal in the history of his home country. It is clear that on the background of such a happiness, the difference between gold and silver is hardly noticeable at all - the guy is simply guaranteed a place in the history of Cyprus.
Simultaneously with the fight for gold there was a second «»match race for bronze, here the Swede Rasmus Mirgren and the Croatian Tonča Stipanović dueled with each other with one point separating them. The Croat couldn't hold back the Scandinavian attack - the Swede going behind managed to reach and overtake his boat, but...
But already on shore he found out that a protest was filed against him under Rules 3.2 and 3.3. He had to fight for a long time, but still he received the bronze medal.
Apart from these dramatic events, the main part of the 49er


class regatta came to an end yesterday.

In the 49er class, all the fun was over even before the medal race: the Australian crew Nathan Outerridge had already guaranteed itself a gold medal.

Similar situation is in men's 470 class - the gap of two leading crews(Matthew Belsher and Luca Patinse) from third place after yesterday's two races is already 30 points. The Sheremetev brothers are steadily finishing in 16th place, 27 points up from 10th, so they have practically no chance of getting into the medal race.
Today we are waiting for the first quarter-final in women's match race, as well as the medal race in the RS:X class. In the men's it's clear there - Dorian van Rijselberg can go for the gold medal without even going out on the water. In women it is more complicated as usual, but the Spaniard Marina Alabau has a very decent margin of 12 points. Out of «our» Ukrainian Olga Maslivets, who is in the sixth place, got into the medal race.

Live broadcasts of the sailing races (although without commentary) can be seen on Sportbox, the schedule of all races and results on the ISAF website, and a daily report on the performances of the Russian team on the website of the Russian Yachting Federation.

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