Olympics: Van Rijsselberge Wins Windsurfing Gold
Weymouth, United Kingdom. Dorian van Rijsselberge capped a dominant performance with a victory in the medal race on Tuesday as he won windsurfing gold in the event’s last Olympic appearance.
The Dutch sailor entered the medal race with a 22-point lead and only needed to start the double-points race to take gold.
Athens 2004 bronze medalist and Weymouth resident Nick Dempsey finished second in the medal race to claim silver in front of his home fans, and Poland’s Przemyslaw Miarczynski finished fourth in the medal race en route to bronze.
“This was proper sailing,” van Rijsselberge said. “I’ve had a lot of fun. We were having a nice medal race, hearing the crowd and everyone cheering.
“[The gold] was already in the pocket, but seeing everyone on the course is good for me.”
Germany’s Toni Wilhelm went into the regatta finale in third spot but a ninth-placed finish pushed him into fourth overall.
Van Rijsselberge, 23, is the youngest man to win Olympic gold in a solo sailing event in this century. He won’t defend the title in four years, however, as the RS:X sailboard class is to be replaced by kite surfing in 2016.
Van Rijsselberge said he’d give the new class a try.
“I’ll probably go to California and try some of the kite surfing. Maybe we’ll see about Rio,” he said.
Spain’s Marina Alabau Neira won the women’s wind surfing gold ahead of Finland’s Tuuli Petaja and Poland’s Zofia Noceti-Klepacka.
She, too, notched a dominant win, leading after the first 10 races of the regatta and capping her performance with a victory in the medal race.