Camboni tears, so it hurts: OCS at start, Olympic medal evaporates

Dramatic medal race in Enoshima for the men’s RS:X, with our own Mattia Camboni starting from third in the standings. Light winds in the Japanese gulf, the kind that the Italian likes, and he is immediately very aggressive at the start.

Camboni tries to start near the Frenchman and the Pole, direct competitors for the podium, on the left side of the field, but he is too close to the line, and with one second to go he ends up off the line. Camboni did not notice the OCS, the judges called him back after a few minutes, and the Italian’s medal race thus ended. Tears from Matthias as he returns to the ground. Twist of fate shortly thereafter, Poland’s Myszka is also called out, followed by France’s Goyard, the other two medal contenders along with Camboni. The regatta sounds like it was written by the screenwriter of a thriller.

Silence falls in the Italian morning. It eludes at the last, bloody, regatta the first medal that blue sailing had at its disposal, the one that seemed to be just a step away, that could almost be touched. Heartbreaking is the image of Camboni looking at the judges pointing out his OCS and saying : “But me?” before bursting into tears. It hurts like hell, because Mattia’s Olympics had been solid, the medal in light of the week of racing he would have deserved, but in Olympic sailing it is often the last meter that is decisive.

Olympic sailing is revealed in this final in all its epic drama. Four years at the highest level is not enough, it is not enough to show up at the Olympics as the first in the rankings, Olympic tension mercilessly reaps its victims, and once again it is our sailors who shed bitter tears, as in London 2012, as in Rio 2016, when the last damn regatta never went right, due to bad luck or lack of the killer instinct at the decisive moment.

Camboni finishes fifth, one point off the podium, Chinese Kun Bi, who almost doesn’t believe it, hits bronze, gold goes to Dutchman Badloe, the authentic matador of this Olympiad, silver despite OCS disqualification goes to Frenchman Goyard.

Mauro Giuffrè




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