Dorian van Rijsselberghe and Charline Picon celebrate gold at Rio 2016
- 15 August 2016 | Windsurfing
Dorian van Rijsselberghe and Charline Picon won the RS:X Windsurfing gold medals at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
It's all over in Guanabara Bay. The world's best RS:X windsurfers have concluded their races, and the gold, silver, and bronze medalists have been named.
Van Rijsselberghe was the fastest in the Men's competition, but he didn't start strong. His longtime rival Nick Dempsey won the first races, and the Dutch was forced to step up his game.
"I was very fortunate that Nick went off like a cannon in the first couple of races because it really showed me like, 'okay, it's not going to be easy.' We never thought it was going to be easy, but he really showed me that if I wanted this, I had to work for it," explained Dorian van Rijsselberghe.
"I tried, worked for it and I got it. It's great when you're sailing against guys that are really pushing you and challenging you. If you don't have that, it would be very boring."
Van Rijsselberghe, who had already claimed the top spot in London 2012, repeated the feat in Brazilian waters. It's his second consecutive gold medal in the Olympic Games, and he didn't need the medal race to confirm the first place. Dempsey took silver, and Pierre Le Coq celebrated bronze.
The Women's competition was completely different, and the final decisions were made in the dying minutes of the medal race - no less than seven out of ten sailors could still win gold.
In the decisive race, Stefania Elfutina got a penalty turn, Peina Chen accelerated, but Charline Picon managed to speed up her windsurfer in light winds and secured the Olympic title.
"So many feelings and emotions at the finish line! It has been a really difficult week. Yesterday I counted all the points I lost because things didn't go as I wanted, I had some complicated moments. So winning the gold medal like this in this exciting medal race and with this Hollywood scenario, it's just incredible," revealed Picon.
"After London, it has been four years of preparation, and we were fighting for three medals. Here I knew it could be my time; I believed it from the beginning but this morning I was absolutely stressed. I worked with my psychologist on making the stress work in my favor. I have come a long way since London."
Rio 2016 Olympic Games | RS:X Windsurfing Medalists
1. Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED)
2. Nick Dempsey (GBR)
3. Pierre Le Coq (FRA)
1. Charline Picon (FRA)
2. Peina Chen (CHN)
3. Stefania Elfutina (RUS)