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Olympics: Day 1

In what is considered a reasonable breeze for Quingdao the first two races for the men’s and women’s windsurfer were completed today.
In the men’s fleet, Shahar Zubari (ISR) got off ot a flying start posting a first and a third to sit on top of the leader board in front of King Yin Chan (HKG) (5 points behind) and Aichen Wang (CHN) (one further point adrift).
Nikos Kaklamanakis (GRE) came back from a bad (for him) first race to finish 2nd in the second and stay in contention as did Julien Bontemps (FRA) who won the second race of the day. These two are already carrying their discard and must now not make any further ‘mistakes’ if they have a hope of medalling. The same applies to Tom Ashley (NZL) who is 4th overall but must ensure better results tomorrow if he is to keep the pressure up for a podium place.
For some, one could say it is all over already. Sadly Joao Rodrigues (POR) posted an 18th and a 10th today and can only pray for some kind of miracle to put him back in contention even after the discard. For Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) life looks even tougher after finishing 17th in the first race and 21st in the second.
Whilst it is probable that this may be a high scoring regatta, Carlos Santos (BRA) who should definitely be considered a ‘contender’ with Maksim Oberemko (UKR) and Nick Dempsey (GBR) has to get in amongst the top 5 on Tuesday if he is to keep his medal hopes alive
Over in the women’s fleet it was Jian Yin (CHN) who posted a perfect score after two races to stamp her authority on the fleet.
Old friends, Jessica Crisp (AUS) and Alessandra Sensinsi (ITA) both grabbed a second place with Bryony Shaw (GBR), the winner of the Pre-Olympic Regatta posting a consistent 4th and 3rd. So the top 4 are CHN, AUS, GBR and ITA.
Marina Alabau (ESP) sits in 5th with the same points as Alessandra. Olga Maslivets (UKR) was also consistent scoring a 5th and a 6th. For the rest, it was a case of what might have been and if only….
Faustine Merret (FRA) has to show that old determination and spark to climb from 7th overall as does Barbara Kendall (NZL) in 8th. However, after day one, it is clearly Jian Yin (CHN) who is the one to beat. The others have to stay consistent and pray she makes a mistake.
Wind Guru predicts less wind for tomorrow which may mean some waiting around before racing gets under way. This will do nothing to ease the tension. In the long run, it will be the athletes who manage this inactivity best who will come through.

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