Kiran Badloe (NED) has won gold in the Men’s Windsurfer – RS:X with France taking silver and China bronze.
Starting in silver medal position, Mattia Camboni (ITA) made a great start and launched into an early lead. But the Italian was unaware that he had broken the start too early and was disqualified, forced to leave the course. Next to be disqualified for the same reason was Piotr Myszka (POL) who was lying in bronze medal position as he was pulled off the course.
This cleared the way for Thomas Goyard (FRA) to cruise around the two lap course, the silver medal more or less secured for France. However, towards the end of the first lap, Goyard was also pulled out of the race for having broken the start line early. Now the distraught Frenchman had to sit out and watch from the sidelines, hoping that his points advantage going into the Medal Race would be sufficient to stay in the medals.
Meanwhile at the front of the fleet, Yoav Cohen (ISR) was sailing a clean race, probably unaware that he was in the bronze medal position. A very precarious bronze, however, with Kun Bi (CHN) within striking distance due to starting on fewer points than Cohen before the Medal Race. Israel won the Medal Race, Badloe in second, Switzerland third. Some distance back but now up to fourth was China, enough for Bi to steal bronze from Cohen by a point.
As for Goyard, despite his disqualification the Frenchman held on to silver by a single point from China.
Kiran Badloe’s gold medal makes it three Olympic RS:X Men’s titles in a row for the Netherlands, Badloe following in the footsteps of his good friend and training partner Dorian van Rijsselberghe who took gold in London 2012 and Rio 2016.
By Andy Rice – World Sailing