Medal hero Annalise Murphy: 'I wasn't afraid of losing like four years ago'

By Will Downing

Annalise Murphy claimed Ireland's second medal of the Rio Olympics by scooping silver in the women's Laser Radial sailing.

The Dublin yachtswoman was lying third heading into today's medal race, but finished ahead of all of her medal rivals, including Evi van Acker, who was looking to wrest a medal away, having started the day lying just outside the medals in fourth.

Murphy finished fifth today to gain points on the rest of the competition's top five, making up for the agonising fourth-place finish from London 2012.

Ireland's Annalise Murphy celebrates receiving her silver medal. Pic:INPHO/Morgan Treacy
Ireland's Annalise Murphy celebrates receiving her silver medal. Pic:INPHO/Morgan Treacy

"It's incredible," Murphy said after the race. "I am just a bit shell-shocked.

"It's incredible to come here today and get a silver medal after four years ago when I was fourth. I was completely heartbroken.

"It is a completely different feeling and I am just delighted.

Medal hero Annalise Murphy: 'I wasn't afraid of losing like four years ago'

"I just went out today knowing that I couldn't treat it any different from any other race I've done this week.

"I was just going to attack it and not be afraid of losing because that's what happened four years ago.

"I was afraid of losing rather than trying to win so I went and attacked the race. I sailed really well.

"It was pretty light winds so not conditions that suit me, but I kind of proved I was able to do it.

"I think I was in gold medal position for a while but I lost out on it on the last downwind but I am just delighted."

Medal hero Annalise Murphy: 'I wasn't afraid of losing like four years ago'

With double points at stake today, Murphy only picked up 10, to overtake Denmark's Anne-Marie Rindom, whose eighth-placed finish saw her pick up 16 points.

Despite being denied the silver, Rindom still joined Murphy in celebration by jumping into the water at the confirmation of the results.

Importantly for leader Marit Bouwmeester of the Netherlands, her placing two positions behind Murphy only saw her concede four points to the Irishwoman, seeing her lead cut from ten points to six by the end.

Evi van Acker lost ground on the Dun Laoghaire pilot, finishing one place behind Murphy in the final race in sixth place.

Murphy said afterwards to BBC Sport: "This time four years ago, I had just finished fourth and it was the hardest day of my life.

"But I said I was going to come back and win a medal. I didn't think I was going to be in this position even a few months ago.

"I was sailing really badly, so to be able to come and do it when it really matters is really incredible.

"I knew if I was scared, I was going to end up losing out so I just went for it."

It's Ireland's 31st all-time Olympic medal, and the first for Ireland in sailing since David Wilkins and James Wilkinson in the Flying Dutchman class in Tallinn at the 1980 Moscow Games.

Meanwhile the Men's 49er pair of Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern are through to the medal race after winning Race 12 this evening finish in 8th place going into Thursday's medal race.

But the Women's 49er FX pair of Saskia Tidey and Andrea Brewster narrowly missed-out after 8th, 13th and 12th place finishes from their three races today, which left them in 12th overall and two spots outside the final fleet.

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