Becoming the Female World Champion at the Moth Worlds in July in Italy has come at a high price for Olympic Silver medallist Annalise Murphy. A violent capsize in the last race caused her to sustain a knee injury which subsquent scans revealed to be serious.
The injury is a blow for her return to the Olympic Laser Radial discipline and comes after a period of intesive training with coach Rory Fitzpatrick. She had specifically flown in her training partner from Rio, kiwi Sarah Winther, to help mount a successful return to the boat and her voyage for Tokyo Gold in 2020.
Irish Sailing's James O’Callaghan said “It’s a real shame we don’t get to see Annalise compete for a World Title but there will be opportunities in the future, she’s determined to add a world championship medal to her European title and Olympic Silver”.
The star made no mention of the injury or her withdrawal when she took to social media yesterday to remember the first year anniversary of her Olympic medal in Rio.
The main focus now is to ensure her recovery proceeds well so that she can take up her place in the Volvo Ocean Race - one of sailing's most enduring challenges.
The good news is Ireland will be represented through Aisling Keller and Aoife Hopkins both fresh from medal success at the U21 European Championships and top ten finishes at the U21 Worlds.
The World Championships have a restricted entry policy, with a maximum of 120 sailors competing in Medemblik, Netherlands. Competition starts on Saturday August 19th.
Aoife Hopkins is a member of Howth Yacht Club and part of the Irish Sailing Performance Laser Development Team. In July this year, she was crowned u21 European Champion in Douarnenez, France,
Aisling Keller of Lough Derg Yacht Club first represented Ireland in 2010, and has been part of the Irish Sailing Performance Laser Development Team. At recent u21 World Championships, in Belgium Aisling finished 7th.