Mashiah rallies for bronze; Cohen, Buskila miss medal

The 23-year-old Israeli also claimed a bronze medal at last year’s World Championships in Kerteminde, Denmark.

Nimrod Mashiah_311 (photo credit: Richard Langdon/Perth 2011)
Nimrod Mashiah_311
(photo credit: Richard Langdon/Perth 2011)
Nimrod Mashiah clinched his third straight medal at the windsurfing World Championships in dramatic fashion on Sunday, leapfrogging Poland’s Przemyslaw Miarczynski into third place after a nail-biting finish to the medal race in Perth, Australia.
The 23-year-old Israeli, who also claimed a bronze medal at last year’s World Championships in Kerteminde, Denmark a year after claiming a silver in Weymouth, England, was neck and neck with Miarczynski on the downwind leg of Sunday’s final race before the slalom finish.
However, he managed to edge Miarczynski and finish the race in sixth place to move tied on 52 points overall with the Pole and win the bronze by virtue of finishing in front of his opponent in the medal race.
“Miarczynski is a really experienced sailor. I don’t know how many medals this guy has won in his life so it was very hard racing him today,” said Mashiah, who finished third overall behind winner Dorian van Rijsselberghe and Piotr Myszka.
Sunday’s accomplishment was also extremely significant to Mashiah’s hopes of representing Israel at next summer’s London Olympics.
Mashiah moved in front of bitter-rival Shahar Zubari in the Olympic Committee of Israel’s point system to determine who will be the country’s one and only representative in the 2012 Games, picking up 20 points compared to zero collected by Zubari for finishing in a disappointing 17th place in Perth.
After two of the four events which decide who goes to London, Mashiah holds a 21-7 lead over Zubari.
“I’m happy I got the best out of the situation, but I’m left with a bit of a bitter taste as I know I could have done better overall,” Mashiah said. “I wanted to come back with the gold and I knew it was possible.
“Nevertheless, I’m really happy to have claimed a medal and taken a significant step towards London. I’m going to keep my foot on the gas because I know next year’s World Championships will be the critical event in my battle with Shahar. Zubari will never give up and it is clear to me that I need to remain focused until the very end.”
There was also plenty of frustration in the Israeli camp in Perth on Sunday, with Gil Cohen and Vered Buskila falling two places to fourth overall to miss out on a medal in the 470 Class competition. Cohen and Buskila had their fate in their own hands, but could only finish the medal race in eighth position and were overtaken by two teams, losing out on a medal by a mere three points.