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Annalise on Course for Medal & Posts Best Irish Olympic Sailing Result in 30 Years

4th August 2012
Annalise on Course for Medal & Posts Best Irish Olympic Sailing Result in 30 Years

#annalise_murphy – Annalise Murphy has posted the best Olympic sailing result for Ireland in 32 years following this afternoon's final races of the Laser Radial class in Weymouth with only a single point now separating the top four boats.

The 22–year–old Olympic debutante is in the mix for the Gold medal in Monday's medal race and cannot finish worse than fifth overall. 

On coming ashore this evening the National Yacht Club sailor said that although she could finish 1, 2, 3 or 4 she was still hopeful it would be first but she was ready for anything. She also said she was expecting a difficult medal race in less than 48 hours time with both the Olympic champion and world champion also in the hunt.

Annalise is now joint third overall on 34 points with arch rival Evi Van Acker from Belgium. The lead is now held jointly by Lilia Xu of China and the world champion Marit Boumeester of Holland.

If Annalise beats any one of Xu, Van Acker or Boumeester on Monday she will win a medal.

Annalise was at the centre of a thrilling climax in the fleet racing this afternoon scoring a 2 and a 7 in lighter winds and tricky conditions. Murphy proved to be a most consistent sailor following up her early regatta wins with two solid performances to secure her medal race berth ahead of Belgium's Evi Van Acker of Belgium and world champion Marit Van Bouwmeester of Holland.

The UCD student briefly regained her position at the top of the Laser Radial fleet in what was a dramatic Race 9 at lunch time. Two general recalls saw her opponent Alison Young (GBR) disqualified along with the sailors from BLR, NZL, GER, TUR and IOA. Annalise got off to a great start at the top of the fleet in 5th. By the third mark she had taken 40 seconds off the Chinese leader to lie in 2nd place. She continued to fight hard within the top three against Xu (CHN) and Cebrian (ESP) to finished in 3rd place, reclaiming her spot as 1st overall. Her closest competitors Bouwmeester (NED) finished 6th while Van Acker (BEL) finished in 8th which gave Murphy a four point lead on 2nd place overall Van Acker and 3rd place Xu who both had 31 points to Murphy's 27.

Race 10 certainly proved to be a nerve racking way to finish the fleet racing. The first five boats to round the first and second marks were the top five medal contenders; Murphy (IRL), Van Acker (BEL), Xu (CHN), Bouwmeester (NED) and Young (GBR). Murphy then separated from the rest of the fleet taking the right hand gate while the others went left. It was a risky move but her gutsy tactics kept her in the top five. She then had a tough reach to the fourth mark and slipped back to 7th and stayed there, costing her the overall lead. Murphy finishes the fleet racing in 3rd overall with just an incredible one point separating the top four sailors. As the medal race is worth double points everything will hinge on Monday's race. Leader Xu (CHN) is on 33 points, in 2nd is Bouwmeester (NED) also on 33 points, in 3rd is Murphy (IRL) on 34 points and in 4th is Van Acker (BEL) also on 34 points.

The Laser Radial Medal race will be broadcast live by RTE on Monday lunchtime at 1300hrs.

Follow Afloat on twitter for latest Annalise medal race updates

Published in Olympics 2012 Team

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