7 AUGUST 2012, 04:53 PM
Alabau Wins Gold In Style
Marina Alabau (ESP) made up for her disappointment at Beijing 2008, where she finished fourth, by winning a light wind medal race to claim gold. Tuuli Petaja (FIN) won silver and Zofia Klepacka (POL) took bronze.
“Two days ago I really felt I could see the gold,” said Alabau. “When I came back [from the lay day] I was super stressed but then I knew it would be easy after a really good week. I knew the Medal Race would be good for me as the others would fight.”
Medal contender Olga Maslivets (UKR) boldly grabbed the advantage from the start of the Medal Race, choosing to set her board up to sail faster but further than the rest of the fleet and powered up the first leg to round the first mark in the lead, ahead of Bryony Shaw (GBR) who was also in pursuit of a bronze medal. Alabau rounded in third with Maslivets looking good for silver.
By mark four, Maslivets still led but Alabau had advanced to second and Klepacka was up to fifth and in bronze medal position.
Alabau made sure of gold by taking the lead shortly before the finish to win ahead of Maslivets.
Behind them, the silver and bronze positions were decided when Klepacka finished third to secure bronze and Tuuli Petaja (FIN) clawed her way into fourth to win silver. Maslivets finished fourth overall.
Petaja’s silver medal is the first Finnish medal at London 2012, she said, “Everyone has been really looking forward to us getting our first medal. I would be happy if the other athletes who have competed already had got some medals. I am sure there are some more medals to come for Finland.”
Since 2006 the Fin only has only finished on the podium on two occasions with a bronze at Kieler-Woche 2009 and another bronze at the 2012 RS:X Europeans. She added, “It’s by far the best result I’ve done in any competition.”
The pre-regatta favourite, Lee Korzits (ISR), went into the Medal Race in second but finished in ninth place, leaving her sixth overall.
1. Marina Alabau (ESP) – 26pts
2. Tuuli Petaja (FIN) – 46pts
3. Zofia Noceti Klepacka (POL) – 47pts
4. Olga Maslivets (UKR) – 48pts
5. Moana Delle (GER) – 51pts