This is Annalise Murphy’s Olympic medal to lose now

Ireland’s Annalise Murphy sails into her final race of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games this afternoon with a new sense of expectation after a week of stunning performance in the Women’s single-handed event.

After months of less than optimal performance in preparation for Rio, Murphy’s form was anything but medal territory.

However, in the final phase of preparation for the Games, she discovered her missing motivation and re-emerged as a solid all-round sailor who delivered in the crunch of the qualification round of the Olympic regatta.

But her task isn’t ended just yet.

Although from the outset of the series last Monday, when she took and maintained and top three standing all week, the points calculus in the 10-boat medal race final is such that only five boats are in the race for a medal.

And of these, only the overall leader Marit Boumeester of The Netherlands is assured of a podium place and is hoping to improve on her silver from London four years ago.

In turn, Murphy hopes to improve on her fourth place, the so-called “leather-medal” she ended up with after a blistering performances in the windier conditions of Weymouth & Portland in 2012.

She goes into the medal final in third place. However, as she trails Denmark’s Anne-Marie Rindom by just two points and the medal final counts for double-points, she is effectively tied for the silver medal.

Murphy is 10 points behind Boumeester so would need to beat the Dutch sailor by five places to displace her.

In turn however, Murphy will need to watch for Belgium’s Evi Van Acker who trails in fourth place by nine points. The London bronze medallist would need to finish five places ahead of the Irish sailor to dislodge her from a podium result.

Finland’s Tuula Tenkanen is also a threat from fifth overall.

Numerous shock outcomes are in play, including good and bad news for Irish hopes.

But this isn’t four years ago and despite Rio’s uncertainty, Murphy has attacked her blindsides with purpose since winning the class European championships on her home waters of Dun Laoghaire three years ago.

Her previous strength in windier weather was matched by a weakness in light airs where her height/weight combination was of little advantage.

Since then, she has shed weight and her blistering first places on windy days have all but disappeared.

Instead, an all-round sailing athlete who has achieved consistent results in all the wind conditions possible has emerged with renewed confidence.

Put another way, she has peaked beautifully and her day has come.

This is her Olympic medal to lose.

More on this topic

Rio Olympic head Carlos Nuzman charged with corruptionRio Olympic head Carlos Nuzman charged with corruption

President of Rio2016 games, Carlos Nuzman, could be suspended after arrest, say IOC President of Rio2016 games, Carlos Nuzman, could be suspended after arrest, say IOC

Pat Hickey could be back in Ireland soonPat Hickey could be back in Ireland soon

Olympic tickets inquiry calls on affected Irish fans to come forwardOlympic tickets inquiry calls on affected Irish fans to come forward


Cupid must be something of a motoring enthusiast, as he had most definitely steered his way in the neighbourhood when Amie Gould and Shane O’Neill met at the Rally of the Lakes 12 years ago.Wedding of the Week: Cupid steers couple to right track

When it comes to podcasting, all it takes is one idea — and who knows where it can take you.Podcast Corner: Crimes and creatures rule at Cork’s first podcast fest

Claymation meets science fiction in this enchanting film, writes Esther McCarthy.Latest Shaun adventure is out of this world

After breaking through as a character with mental health issues in her hit TV series, Irish actress Aisling Bea is happy to take another step to stardom in a new Netflix comedy with Paul Rudd, writes Ed Power.Aisling Bea and Paul Rudd team up for new comedy

More From The Irish Examiner