Saturday 1 October 2016

'I just have to roll with the rubbish in Rio' - Murphy

Barry Lennon

Published 27/07/2016 | 02:30

Annalise Murphy at the Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club in Ringsend yesterday. Photo: Dan Sheridan/INPHO
Annalise Murphy at the Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club in Ringsend yesterday. Photo: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Annalise Murphy admits she will face the biggest challenge of her sailing career at the Rio Olympics as the Dubliner contends with rubbish flowing into the city's bay as well as erratic weather and a field that has almost doubled since London 2012.

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However, she accepts that she has to "roll with it" when the women's laser radial competition begins on Monday, August 8.

"The water quality isn't ideal but it's fine. I've been out there nine times and I've never been sick, touch wood. It's something you have to deal with," she said.

Chair

"Although, there's strange things in the water. I found a chair when I was out there in December. I picked it up and I put on my boat and sat on it.

"Also, all the fish were dying in the water couple of years ago. They said it was natural causes. But it's kind of strange that all the fish have died from natural causes."

Murphy feels she has a good grip on the "unpredictable" Rio weather, believing she can pull off "something special, if all goes well".

She says her competitors also find the bay difficult to read.

"It gives you confidence that people don't really know what they're doing as well," she said.

"Although you don't know if they're playing stupid with you either. Well, because I play stupid with them too."

Murphy claims she is not feeling the pressure to follow up on her bittersweet fourth-place finish in London.

"If I had that medal what would it have changed in my life? If you make the medal the be-all and end-all, you become unhappy with your life," she argued.

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The 26-year-old reckons that leading from the outset until the last day was too much to handle at her first Games.

"I wasn't prepared to be winning in the Olympics. I just went for an Olympic experience," she explained. "I remember dreaming 'imagine winning all the races' as a kid. But no sailor wins all the races, even the greats like Ben Ainslie don't think that.

"Then I go and win all the races. I might have not been so freaked out by that had I come second in the build-up to the final day back then."

Murphy, who sails out of the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, hopes that she is wiser four years on.

Her sports psychologist will be joining her in Brazil to ensure that she keeps a level head during the Games.

"I feel prepared for it. It's hard to taper back on training over the last couple of weeks because I just want to go out there and do the job," she said.

Irish Independent

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