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Dublin: 7°C Saturday 8 May 2021
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Murphy putting harsh lessons of London 2012 to use as she methodically tightens grip

Seasick? So what! Annalise Murphy has the stomach to lead from the front.

Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

CONSISTENCY IS THE name of the game this week for Ireland’s Annalise Murphy. Even if that’s not exactly the word that immediately comes to mind for an Olympic sailor who suffers with seasickness.

Murphy leads the Laser Radial (dinghy) standings after six races in three days. But having drifted out of the medal places in agonising fashion at London 2012, the 26-year-old feels she has a much more measured approach to competition four years on.

“It’s helped me a lot,” she told RTE Sport about the chastening experience of Weymouth four years ago.

“I’m more relaxed and I’m trying to not get stressed out about results. I know I have to have a lot of good races I can’t mess up one day. I’m really enjoying it, I’m having a good time and I’m not too worried about the overall result.

“I’m just looking at every day, trying to do the right things each day and that’s what’s working.”

She certainly proved herself able to do the right things yesterday. Not just in one race, but back-to-back as she claimed fifth and second places in race five and six to overtake previous leader (and reigning Olympic champion) Lijia Xu who slipped from first overall to fourth with her eighth and 12th finishes on the day.

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With a well-earned rest in the offing as her event takes a down day, her family and friends in Rio are doing their part to help keep Murphy’s head in the game. While some athletes enjoy social media as a release, Murphy won’t even be checking her email this week until the racing is done. Her brother Finn keeping a firm grip on her Twitter and Facebook feeds and tidying up the traces of the mid-race parties they’ve thrown in her honour.

Murphy says she is looking forward to spending a day in bed today, recharging batteries before the final five races, but she will hope that the shore leave doesn’t give the weather a chance to settle. The first six races have shown: when it’s too tough for them, it’s just right for Murphy.


Source: The42: Rio 2016 Olympics/SoundCloud

“It was awesome. Pretty difficult, but a lot of fun,” she said with a weary smile to RTE.

“The waves were so big. I get seasick, so I had seasick bands on my wrists to keep from getting sick, bu yeah it was fun.

“Made a few mistakes in the first race which put me behind, but overall I’m just happy with how I’m racing and happy with how I’m still being consistent.”

Annalise Murphy takes overall lead with another excellent day’s racing in Rio

We spoke to Annalise Murphy’s brother about what to look out for in Olympic sailing

About the author:

Sean Farrell

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