Photo: Marina Alabau
Marina Alabau dominated the field in Olympic women’s windsurfing to give Spain its first gold medal of the 2012 London Games.
Alabau, who took the lead and stayed there during previous rounds, had to finish Tuesday among the first seven out of the 10 participants to grab the gold, something she not only did with ease but went one better and crossed the finish line of the Medal Race in first place.
The Spaniard went into the final with a 14-point lead over those classified second and third, Israel’s Lee-El Korsiz and the Finn Tuuli Petaja, respectively.
Alabau started well to windward without problems and turning at the first buoy was in third place with the Ukrainian Olha Maslivets in first place and Britain’s Bryony Shaw second.
By the fourth marker in the race the Spaniard had surged to second place amid 15-knot winds.
In the home stretch Alabau passed the Ukrainian to coast in the winner.
After the Spaniard and the Ukrainian, the third to cross the finish line was Poland’s Zofia Noceti-Klepackala, while Korsiz, who started out in second place, ended in ninth place Tuesday and so was out of the running for a medal.
The podium was shared by Spain with the gold, Finland with silver winner Petaja, and Poland with the bronze, thanks to Noceti-Klepackala’s performance in the final.