Finn minnows leap, Laser’s Xu bounces back
RIO DE JANEIRO – The world’s leading Finn-class sailors were outclassed by lower-ranked rivals in shifting light winds on the second day of the Olympic Sailing Regatta.
Britain’s Giles Scott, France’s Jonathan Lobert and New Zealand’s Josh Junior all struggled to judge the currents and maintain position as southerly ocean winds around Rio’s famous Sugarloaf Rock made sailing tough.
“The Sugarloaf course is notoriously difficult,” Scott told reporters after returning to the Gloria Marina near Rio’s downtown. “We saw (wind) changes of maybe 40 to 50 degrees and that’s not easy.” he said.
The world No. 1 is one of Britain’s best medal hopes but he only managed 17th out of 23 in the first race before grabbing a third in the second race. That put Scott in an uncharacteristic 10th place overall with 20 points.
No. 2 ranked Lobert ended the day in 12th after finishing 10th and 15th while No. 3-ranked Junior stands 21st after finishing 18th and 24th.
That left an unexpected top three of the lower-ranked Vasilij Zbogar of Slovenia, who has four points after a third and a first, Turkey’s Alican Kaynar, with seven points after a second and a third, and Argentina’s Facundo Olezza Bazan, with 10 points after a first and a ninth. Kaynar is ranked 20th, the rest lower.
In the Laser Radial class, China’s defending gold medallist Xu Lijia rebounded from a protest disqualification in Monday’s second race to retake the lead after impressive third and first-place finishes on Tuesday.
With four races completed, competitors drop their worst result, removing her 38-point DSQ. Having finished third in Monday’s first race, she leads with seven points, four fewer than Ireland’s Annalise Murphy.
In the men’s Laser class, Argentina’s Julion Alsogaray leads after four races with seven points after finishing 14th, which is discarded, and first on Tuesday.
In the men’s RS:X sailboarding class Britain’s Nick Dempsey leads from the Netherlands’ Dorian van Russelberghe and Poland’s Piotr Myszka.
Italy’s Flavia Targagilini tops the women’s RS:X ahead of Charline Picon of France and Russia’s Stefaniya Elfutina. -Reuters