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London Olympics 2012 – Slingsby slogs - Goodo hangs on

by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team on 2 Aug 2012
Tom Slingsby (AUS) competing in the Men’s One Person Dinghy (Laser) event in The London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition. onEdition © http://www.onEdition.com
The five times Laser World Champion Australia’s Tom Slingsby slipped back into second place, behind Pavlos Kontides from Cyprus after six races.

In the first race this morning, sailing in a 12-14 knot southerly Slingsby was 10th at the top mark and surged down the run into second place behind Tonci Stipanovic and held that place until the finish with Kontides fourth behind him.

In the second race, sailed in a breeze building from 12-17 knots, another ordinary start from the Australian had him 18th at the top mark, even worse 22nd midrace before climbing back to ninth place. Kontides finished second behind Andrew Murdoch (NZL).

Tom Slingsby ‘ A long day on the water again and it was hard work. I am getting sick of trying to do these comebacks, I just want to get good starts and I want to lead to every mark - thst my goal for the rest of the regatta.

‘I am sailing well but Kontides has just found another gear at the moment. We have still got another couple of days. He is a risk taker and he took some risks today and they paid off again. I saw him out to the left in the last race and I was thinking he looks like he is buried there and he led to the top mark. He just keeps getting it right.

‘It was frustrating today. I got rolled today by Denmark and Tunisia, all these guys I usually have a speed edge and sometimes I just, I don't know whether it’s my setup, but sometimes I don't quite have the speed I want and these guys take advantage of it and I keep getting put back in the fleet and I have got to fix some things and make sure I get off the line to the top mark in good shape.

‘Today in the first race when I was back in the pack I just thought of yesterday and I thought let’s start the process again and start coming back and I didn't do it quite as well today as I did yesterday. But the key thing is to know that the race isn’t over. If I sail well I can pull back.

Behind Kontides and Slingsby are Stipanovic, Rasmus Mygren (SWE), Juan Ignacio Maegli Aguero (GUA) and then in sixth place is the Beijing Laser Gold Medallist Paul Goodison (GBR).

Goodison is fighting a back injury as he explained today.

‘I am feeling a lot better than I was obviously this time yesterday. The physio did an amazing job last night of putting me back together. It was kind of an hour laying on my bed and then go see the physio then an hour laying on my bed and see the physio.

‘The doctor gave me some pretty amazing tablets last night which made me sleep. I woke up almost a little bit hung over this morning. That seemed to take away most of the pain. Today on the water, although I didn't feel 100% physically right, my mind was more focussed on the decision making more than it was on the pain and although I didn't feel like I was that fast upwind I still could make the decisions to give me a bit of a chance to attack downwind and I guess that's what I needed to do hopefully.

Tomorrow is a rest day so I can piece myself back together and get closer to 100% so that the second half of the regatta we can fire on all cylinders and see what we can get out of this.

‘It‘s really tricky conditions out there and I guess you have seen watching how quick we gained in that first race, right out at the front. There was a left shift at the top that I slipped up on. In the second one I thought I was going to get out on the right quite nicely with The five times Laser World Champion Australia’s Tom Slingsby slipped back into second place, behind Pavlos Kontides from Cyprus after six races. the wind but it didn't go my way. It was pretty character building stuff. I am pretty happy with both races.

‘When I am just sitting it is fine. It is as soon as you start moving around and bouncing around that you are loading up the back, there’s obviously a nerve in there that every time you bounce it fires and it is quite intense pain. Once that goes it is not so bad. It is fine in the lighter stuff but as soon as it gets choppy and windy you have got to throw yourself around a lot more and that's when the problems occur.

‘ My priority right now is to get better as quickly as I can tomorrow and come out of the other side of the regatta 100%. There are a lot of talented sailors out there and I think I have done a good job hanging in there as best as I could so we have to try and attack in the second half of the regatta. If I have a chance at fighting for podium that is fantastic. I am oing to keep fighting and do the best I can

‘I think any other regatta I would be flat out on the sofa and watch it on TV. You only get one chance at this every four years and if it means I am in a lot of pain then so be it. You only get the one shot and I want to give it my all. I have got to do that to be happy with myself.’

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