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Sailor Mária Érdi Is European Champion after Last Year’s World Title

Sailor Mária Érdi has won the ILCA (former Laser) European Championships in Athens, Greece, reports Index. In addition, Jonatán Vadnai won the silver medal in the men’s event.

Mária Érdi, who won the world title last year and qualified for this year’s Olympics in Paris, started from the front in the medal race, and practically led from start to finish.

She was the first to take all the buoys and finished with a convincing lead.

The Hungarian was followed by Lithuania’s Viktorija Andrulytė in second place and France’s Louise Cervera in third.

“It was one of the hardest races of my life. At this European Championships there was a lot of light wind and unpredictability, but I managed to adapt the best of the field.

I am indescribably happy that last year’s World Championships gold and European Championships bronze are now joined by a European Champion title.

My coach and I have put together a good tactic and it has proved to be effective. It was not easy, because before the medal race, the field was very crowded in terms of podium places,” Mária Érdi stressed after her European Championships victory. “Even before the continental championships, I knew that the winner here would be the one who made the fewest mistakes and made the right decisions. I tried to keep these two things in mind before and during every race,” she added.

The Hungarian sailor has won two gold medals and one bronze in the last four major championships, and at this year’s World Championships, she only missed the podium and finished seventh because a manufacturer’s mistake caused a component of the boat to come off during the race. Furthermore, last year Mária Érdi was also named the female athlete of the year.

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Three races were held in the men’s event. Jonatán Vadnai won the first one, then finished 14th and was fastest again, therefore he was able to move up from 15th place to the second. His brother, Benjamin Vadnai was sixth on Thursday, then 12th, and ninth on Friday.

Jonatán Vadnai won the Olympic quota at last year’s combined world championships. Benjamin has competed in the last two Olympic Games, but the younger brother (Jonatán) has shown better form recently, finishing fourth at the 2022 European Championships, and at the World Championships in January he finished 77 points ahead of his brother. In the men’s ILCA race 136 sailors competed.

The European Championships in Athens were a historical sporting success for Hungary, with medals in both the men’s and women’s events.

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Via Index, MTI; Featured image via Facebook/Érdi Mári

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