Israeli wind-surfer Katy Spychakov wins bronze in Enoshima

The Israeli athlete is now in excellent position ahead of the Tokyo 2020 games.

August 21, 2019 12:45
Israeli wind-surfer Katy Spychakov wins bronze in Enoshima

ISRAELI WINDSURFER Katy Spychakov improved her chances of qualifying for the RS:X competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with a bronze medal yesterday at the Ready Steady Tokyo – Sailing competition in Japan.. (photo credit: ISRAELI SAILING ASSOCIATION/COURTESY)

Israeli windsurfer Katy Spychakov won the bronze medal on Wednesday in the RS:X Women’s competition at Ready Steady Tokyo – Sailing, a prestigious pre-Olympics event held on the island of Enoshima in Japan. This week’s races were almost an exact simulation of the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Games as the Olympic windsurfing competitions will be held at Enoshima as well.

Rio 2016 Olympic champion Charline Picon from France took the silver and Yunxiu Lu from China captured the gold. In Wednesday’s medal race, the 20-year-old Spychakov finished sixth, while Picon won, causing them to swap places on the podium from their respective positions coming into the finale.

In addition to the prestige of the podium finish, the results of this event have wider implications for Spychakov in terms of Tokyo 2020 qualification. Only one windsurfer from each country can compete in the Olympic Games in each discipline. For members of the Israel Sailing Association, there are four competitions from which the participants will receive a score, with the competitor with the highest number of total points to represent Israel in Tokyo.

The bronze medal gave Spychakov 18 points in the qualifying standings, and with her fifth-place in the European Championship earning her eight points, she is currently leading the pack with 26 points. Noy Drihan, who is in second place, has just six points following her sixth-place result in the European Championship. There are now two more competitions in which to earn points – the World Championship next month and the World Championship in 2020.

"For us, there are four important competitions – the Europeans in Palma earlier this year, this event, then the two upcoming Worlds in Garda and New Zealand," explained Spychakov prior to the medal race.

"I had a good day [on Tuesday] and the conditions were nice; we had a nice sea breeze picking up during the day and some nice planing in the downwinds. It was fun!

"I'm really happy with the way I'm sailing and I think it's a pretty good sign for next year – I would like to be [back] here.”

Spychakov, who trains under Pierre Loquet, began racing when she was 13 and is a member of the Hapoel Eilat sailing club.

Hagay Hacohen contributed to this report.

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