Tokyo Olympics: Rough day for Malaysian sailors

Khairulnizam Mohd Afendy
26/07/2021 06:23 PM

TOKYO, July 26 -- Unfavourable wind conditions at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour proved to be the bane of Khairulnizam Mohd Afendy and Nur Shazrin Mohamad Latif as they struggled to get going in their respective sailing events here today.

Three-time Olympian Khairulnizam, who was 26th in Race 1 of the men's Laser Standard event yesterday, came in 14th in Race 2, which was postponed from yesterday due to bad weather.

However, in Race 3, the Asian Games silver medallist could only manage to finish in 28th spot.

After three races, so far, Khairulnizam is 27th out of 35 sailors, with 40 net points.

Karle Tapper of Finland tops the ranking with five points, followed by reigning silver medallist Tonci Stipanovic of Croatia and 2012 London Games silver medallist Pavlos Kontides, who is also the first Cypriot to win an Olympic medal.

National coach Mohd Affendy Abdullah said that although a minor mistake by Khairulnizam in Race 3 proved costly, he was still confident that the sailor could still improve on his overall ranking. 

“Race 2 just now was good, but at the end of Race 3, the wind changed direction and Khairulnizam made a slight mistake. He should have stayed with the fleet.

“We have seven more races to go. He still has a chance to improve on his position. He can still finish among the to 15 or, possibly, even top 10,” he said when contacted.

Meanwhile, in the women’s Laser Radial, young sensation Nur Shazrin, who was third in the opening race yesterday, failed to repeat the feat in Race 3 today and could only finish in 33rd place.

However, to her credit, the 23-year-old managed to bounce to capture 14th place in Race 4 to be ranked 17th out of 44 competitors with 42 points.

Line Flem Hoest of Norway leads the pack with seven points, followed by Greek Vasileia Karachaliou (9 pts) and reigning bronze medallist Anne-Marie Rindom (14 pts).