ANNALISE MURPHY REMAINED in control of her chance to become Ireland’s Olympic golden girl on the penultimate day of sailing in the laser radial class in Weymouth.
Murphy started the day in second place knowing that a strong finish in the final two fleet races would strengthen her medal prospects ahead of Monday’s final.
Finishes of third and seventh left the Rathfarnham sailor in third place overall on 34 points, level with Belgium’s Evi van Acker and a solitary point behind the Chinese boat of Lijia Xu and Marit Bouwmeester of the Netherlands.
As points in the medal race count for double, the race for gold is now effectively a dead heat between these four going into Monday’s 10-boat final.
Murphy needs only to finish ahead of one of her three competitors to guarantee a medal of some colour, with the highest-placed finisher of the four taking home the top prize.
The medal race begins at 1pm on Monday.
There was disappointment for James Espey who failed to qualify for the medal race in the men’s laser class. Espey finished 25th and 35th in today’s final two races and in 36th place overall, well outside the needed top 10 finish.
In the men’s 470, Scott Flanigan and Ger Owens finished 15th and 23rd. The Irish boat is now 25th overall with four fleet races remaining. Racing resumes on Monday afternoon following a rest day on Sunday.
Star sailors Peter O’Leary and David Burrows compete in the men’s final tomorrow. O’Leary and Burrows are in ninth place.