Lee Korzits, Israel’s last realistic hope for a medal at the 2012 Olympics, finished 9th in the crucial “medal race” of her RS:X windsurfing event on Tuesday afternoon. Ukraine’s Olga Maslivets won the race, with Spain’s Marina Alabau in second. Alabau thus took the gold medal, with Korzits in 6th overall.
Her disappointing finish means Israel is set to end the London Olympics without a medal. Israel had won at least one medal at every summer games since Yael Arad stood on the podium in Barcelona ’92, when the judoka won the first ever medal — a silver — for the Jewish state.
Korzits said later “I gave my best.” And Alabau said she had expected to be with the Israeli on the podium.
Korzits was in joint second place overall before the 11th and final race of her event. She had said that she was hoping for strong winds, because she feels she is at her most adept when the conditions are testing. But the winds were relatively weak.
After a poor opening Korzits reached the first marker in eighth. She then dropped to 10th and last place at the second marker. Korzits advanced to ninth place at the fourth marker, but failed to make further headway.
Maslivets led from the start, but wound up outside the medals, in fourth place overall.
Earlier, the Israeli men’s 470 tandem duo lost their chances of winning a medal. Eran Sela and Gideon Kliger were disqualified in their ninth race, and lost any chance of placing in the top ten — which would have allowed them to compete in the medal race.
The women’s duo, Vered Buskila and Gili Cohen, finished third in their seventh race.
Windsurfing was always one of Israel’s top sports, with Gal Friedman winning the country’s only gold medal in history on the waves at the Athens Games in 2004.
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