Olympics-Sailing-Badloe and Lu grab RS:X windsurfing gold
ENOSHIMA(JAPAN)-Kiran Badloe cruised to Olympic gold in the men’s windsurfing RS:X class on Saturday with Thomas Goyard taking silver as a disqualification cost Italy’s Mattia Camboni the bronze, which went to Kun Bi of China.
In the women’s race, Lu Yungxiu of China held off a fierce challenge to win gold, edging out 2016 Olympic champion Charline Picon of France and Britain’s Emma Wilson.
With Badloe coming into the final race holding an unassailable lead, Camboni, Goyard and Piotr Myszka of Poland were scrapping for the silver and bronze medals.
After a blazing opening, Camboni was approached by a dinghy containing World Sailing officials and told he had been kicked out of the medal race due to infractions at the start.
Goyard and Myszka were also disqualified, all three incurring a 22-point penalty which was added to their overall score from the 10 opening races.
Goyard hung on to second place and Bi jumped from fifth to third.
“I knew these guys were going to push hard because they were all fighting for a medal, and I stayed as far away and as clear from everybody as I could, “I actually started a little bit late, which was working out in my favour,” Badloe told reporters.
“It’s unreal (to be an Olympic champion), I think it’s going to sink in a bit more over the next couple of hours, but this feeling is amazing, it’s pretty special to me.”
In the women’s race, the leading trio came into the medal race knowing they would all be on the podium. Lu had a four-point lead over Wilson with Picon two points further back, so all that was left to be decided was the medals.
After a delayed start due to the lack of wind, the 36-year-old Picon attacked and Lu struggled to keep up as she found herself slipping down the field.
Despite Picon’s lead, Lu knew that a top-four finish would be enough as long as Wilson did not win, and she recovered by the midpoint of the race, crossing the line third behind Picon and Wilson.
The three leapt into the water and celebrated together before jumping up on their boards again to steer them back to shore. Lu was handed a Chinese flag to fly.
“I’m very happy and proud about this medal race, I did my best, a very solid race. I wanted to finish like that. The colour of my medal? It’s my second in a row, it’s amazing,” Picon told reporters.
“It was very hard, 30 degrees, very hot, very light wind, six knots maximum. It was very intense, very intense,” she added.