posted on September 06, 2013 18:03
Fourth place - the so called leather medal - is always the hardest result to accept for an Olympic athlete. But for both the 2012 Olympic sailors who collected their respective Laser European titles today after a thrilling final day on the sparkling waters off Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, winning the first big championship since they finished fourth in the Laser Olympic regatta marked the first steps on the long road from 2013 Dublin Bay to Rio 2016 on Guanabara Bay, with a key title victory.
For 23 year old Annalise Murphy from Providence Team IRL it was a fairy-tale win, her first ever major Laser title, won on the waters where she learned and trained as a youngster and the same sea to which returned to the Laser in the freezing cold of last November, her first time back in the boat since the bitter disappointment of losing an Olympic medal on the last race. Murphy had lead overall after the first two days of her first Olympic regatta, winning four races in succession and went in to the Medal Race finale as one of four girls who were only one point apart.
Just over a year ago Murphy proved to be the one who finished empty handed and disappointed in but as she triumphantly topped out the European Championship standings today, with eight wins from 12 starts, she left Holland’s 2012 silver medallist Marit Bowmeester in her wake as runner up, a conclusive 22 points behind, and Belgium’s bronze medallist Evi van Acker 31 points adrift. Britain’s Alison Young took third overall.
Murphy was carried up the slip of the National Yacht Club shoulder high by her fellow Irish sailors still in her Laser, smiling broadly. “It was pretty tough after the Olympics. It hurt to have finished fourth, especially to have been in a medal position all the way through. It made me train pretty hard this year, I have been pretty focused these last few months and I knew I had a goal here. I was not too sure how everyone else was going to perform. I am so delighted.”
“It is so special to win here at my home club. My mum and dad are here, my sister is here. It is awesome, it is great to see all the club members here sharing it with me. They have been such a huge support for me over the last two years. It is great. Rio is still three years away. I have a lot of training to do and a lot of racing, But this feels great to win my first big event.”
“I have not done any more or less training here or before Weymouth. I have always done plenty. I have another year’s experience. I was extremely nervous after my first two days at the Olympics after winning the first four races. But here, after winning so many races, I did not have that same nervous feeling, because I knew what not to do. I was a bit apprehensive today but mostly I want to just prove I could go out and have another good day.”
Well done Annalise - OK girls now we really do have to Get on Board.