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Here's Exactly What Annalise Murphy Needs To Do To Bag Herself A Medal In Rio Today

By katedemolder

December 20, 2016 at 12:18am


Annalise Murphy is, almost single-handedly, keeping the Olympic hopes of the nation high as she (quite literally) sails into her final race with eyes firmly fixed on a place on the podium.

For those of you who are green with patriotic spirit, yet wildly unsure of how the whole thing works, here's your guide to exactly what is happening, and the relevance of it all, during this medal race. 

Meaning you can spout reams of learned information while watching the race with your mates. 


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First things first... wasn't that race supposed to happen yesterday?

Yes, it was indeed. Due to the fickle nature of sailing conditions, you can never fully guarantee at what date or time a race can go ahead, you can just give a ballpark figure. 

Rio de Janeiro itself is also situated between enormous valleys - meaning that at one stage the weather can be windless and balmy, and the next second you can feel like the a tornado has taken over your life, umbrella and hairdo. Go figure. 

So, it's happening today?

Due to all of these variables, the race is provisionally going on today – which is named a 'reserve day'. This means the committee will try their hardest to allow the race to go ahead.

If they definitely can't do it today, then medals are awarded based on current standings.

Where is Annalise ranked currently?

Murphy begins the race in third place with 57 points; the total of her nine best-placed finishes in the previous preliminary races. Like golf, you want as low a score as possible.

In first place is Netherlands' sailor Marit Bouwmeester, leading on 47 points, while Denmark’s Anne-Marie Rindom is in second place, just two points ahead of Annalise on 45.

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What are her chances of getting a medal?

Well, as we saw in London – where Annalise came in fourth despite a surge towards gold – a lot of it depends on the wind. But Annalise is in a pretty good position right now to nab bronze, silver or, even with a lot of luck, gold. 

She gets bronze unless she finishes five places (or more) behind Belgium’s Evi van Acker in the medal race. She needs to finish ahead of Denmark to get silver. And she'd need to finish ahead of Denmark AND five places ahead of the Netherlands for gold.

When two athletes have equal points, the person who finished ahead in the medal race takes the better overall result.

So what if the race doesn't go on today?

She'll receive bronze.

After suffering the heartbreak of fourth place in London in 2012, Annalise will hopefully get to see the tricolour be raised in Rio on her behalf, as she is at least guaranteed of a top five finish the way the standings currently are.

Is RTÉ showing the race?

Yes, today at 5:05pm. Once again, provided the weather works in their favour.

Let's hope it does. Come on Annalise!

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