IRISH SAILOR ANNALISE MURPHY struggled to fight back the tears as she reflected on her final positioning of fourth in the Laser Radial standings.
The 22-year-old from Rathfarnham briefly led in Monday afternoon’s medal race before falling back to fifth after failing to pick up enough downwind speed.
The race, and Gold Medal, was won by Lijia Xu of China with Marit Bouwmeester (Netherlands) and Evi Van Acker (Belgium) nipping in ahead of the Irishwoman to claim silver and bronze.
Speaking to RTÉ soon after the race’s completion, Murphy admitted that it was ‘really hard’ to know she had just missed out on a bronze.
“Finishing fourth is definitely worse,” she said. “At one stage I was leading. At the end, to lose out when it was in my hands is tough.”
“I’ll try not to cry any more,” added Murphy as she attempted to articulate her feelings.
Murphy added, “I lost out on the first downwind. I went left and got no wind; all the girls got by me.
“The three girls that beat me were all so good.”
The Dubliner said that the closeness of the top five sailors all week was emphasised by the fact that they made up the first five finishers in the medal race at Weymouth and Portland on England’s South West coast. She added:
It came down to everyone battling on the last (race) and it didn’t work out my way. It’s hard.
“I kept going left and got no wind. (Different tactics) seem so simple now, looking back.”
A week to remember, in time
Murphy said, “I had a brilliant week. In the first two days nobody could beat me.
I’m only 22. All the other girls are older than me. I’m going to work so hard for Rio 2016 and hopefully I’ll be ready then.
The National Yacht Club sailor, whose mother, Cathy McAleavy, competed in sailing at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, paid tribute to her family and friends for their support and for shielding her from the clamour and hype back in Ireland.
Asked if she would look back on her close call for Olympic Gold, Murphy confessed, “It will be hard, for a while.”