The benefits of a rest

A page from Allon Sinai's Beijing diary.

allon sinai Olympics 88 (photo credit: )
allon sinai Olympics 88
(photo credit: )
Wednesday was one of the most important days of the windsurfing competition for Shahar Tzuberi, even though it was a rest day in the Neil Pryde contest. Nonetheless, the 21-year-old's medal hopes will very much rest on the mental work he did on Wednesday. Entering the competition, Tzuberi's quality was no secret as he had won the bronze medal at this year's World Championships. Nevertheless, he wasn't regarded by any of his opponent as a potential gold medal winner. All that changed in the first two days of racing, with the surfer winning twice and finishing third in the two other races, opening a lead at the top of the standings. "I like my dark horse status. I am quite young and the other sailors in the class have much more experience than me. Right now I am focused on each race from the start, and each leg for itself," Tzubari said after Tuesday's racing. He is, however, a dark horse no more and has now got a target on his back which everyone is aiming for. No one will be underestimating him anymore and he will also likely have to put up with a dirty trick or two. Just as importantly, Tzuberi's frame of mind will have also changed. Ahead of the Olympics he would have been delighted to settle for a top-5 finish, but now anything short of a medal will be a big disappointment. The rest day gave Tzuberi the time he needed to adjust to his new status. The first two days proved that, physically, Tzuberi has what it takes to scale the top of the podium. With the windsurfing competition spanning some nine days, however, the mental aspect will be what decides the contest and Tzuberi's first real test will be in Thursday's races.