On target: Hong Kong windsurfer Michael Cheng pleased to secure pre-Games aim of a top-10 finish
The Olympics debutant ensures he makes the medal race although the podium is too far out of reach after a tough last day of qualifying
Hong Kong’s Michael Cheng Chun-leung saved his worst for last, but still made the medal race in windsurfing’s RS:X at the Rio Olympics.
But Great Britain’s Nick Dempsey and the Netherlands’ Dorian van Rijsselberghe have already clinched gold and silver respectively after dominant performances in the 12 qualifying races.
Cheng is 50 points behind third place and will just aim to improve his position in the fleet overall standings.
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He realistically needed to finish in the leading positions in all three of Friday’s qualifying races to have a medal shot, but instead delivered his three worst finishes of the week – 21, 17 and 26 – in unfamiliar wind conditions.
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But making the medal race was always the goal, and he had done just enough to get there in ninth place overall.
“I’m quite satisfied with the result, my target was to make top-10 and I did so I’m happy with it,” said the 22-year-old.
“The conditions today were quite tricky I’ve never experienced the same wind direction as today so I was a bit frustrated I didn’t manage the wind very well.
“Also it was the fourth day of racing and I was a bit tired, got a bit of cramp in my hamstring, but luckily also my competitors didn’t do too well.
The Olympic debutant added: “It’s been quite fantastic, really fresh. I’ve never raced where it’s just one top competitor from each country. It’s really competitive compared to World Championships or other continental championships. And It’s a really good atmosphere, really motivates you for racing.
“I’m just going to do my best, I’m only three points away from eighth, that’s my target.”
But Sonia Lo Sin-lam missed out on the medal race after a disappointing qualifying series in which she was hampered by rubbish in several races in the polluted water. She finished 17th overall and her Olympics is over.
“It’s not really not what I expected,” she said. “I was thinking top 10 but now it’s 16 or 17.
“Maybe I had too high expectations, before the games at the Worlds I got eighth and I thought I could do well again here.
“I really need to be positive, keep my mentality really good – [but] it’s quite hard.”