Estonians in Rio, Day 7: Bad luck for some, positive experiences for all
Heptathlete Grit Šadeiko pulled a muscle on her very first hurdle and badminton player Raul Must lost in his first matchup against a top-five competitor, however RS:X windsurfer Ingrid Puusta ended her competition in 11th place, badminton player Kati Tolmoff may come in 14th, and overall the Estonian athletes have remained positive about their Olympic experiences.
Badminton: Women's singles
Following a Wednesday loss to Thai badminton player Ratchanok Intanon, ranked 4th in the world, and a rough 5:21 loss in Friday's opening game against Hong Kongese opponent Yip Pui Yin, ranked 34th in the world, Estonian badminton player Kati Tolmoff turned her unlucky streak around to win best out of three, winning the remaining two matches 21:13 and 21:19.
The final matchup of the group will be between Yin and Intanon, and should Intanon win against Yin, Tolmoff will come in 14th overall at the Rio Games.
"There was actually a big difference between the sides of the court," said Tolmoff. "At the beginning of the second game [after switching sides], it was much easier to play there. In the third game, when I had to play on the other side again, I knew what to expect and got into the game better. Overall it as a super tournament; I'm quite satisfied."
Badminton: Men's singles
Competing in the G-group, Raul Must, ranked 40th in the world, lost 8:21 and 15:21 to Danish competitor Jan Ø. Jørgensen, who is currently ranked 5th.
"I think I played pretty well," Must said in an interview with ERR, adding that he didn't succumb to Olympic nerves. "I gave it my all today, I just played against the absolute top of the world and I didn't have a chance against him, as I expected."
The Estonian badminton player said that he was more self-confident by the second match, and had adjusted to his opponent's tempo, explaining that these were perennial issues due to Estonia's lack of high-level players.
Commenting on the matchup, Must admitted that Jørgensen made few mistakes and was in certain respects simply stronger than him, "...but I see room to grow and potential in myself; it's possible for me to strive in tht direction.
Discus: Men's discus throw
Estonian discus throwers Gerd Kanter and Martin Kupper both qualified for the discus finals, which are scheduld to take place at 4:50 p.m. on Saturday.
Competing in Group A in the qualifications round, Kanter threw 62.86 meters in the first round and 64.02 in the second, with his second result placing him in 5th overall heading into the finals. His season best thus far has been 65.27 in Amsterdam, where he earned the bronze in the European Championship.
In Group B, Kupper threw 61.15 meters in the first round and 62.92 in the second, placing him in 10th before the finals. Kupper's season best thus far has been 66.61 meters, thrown in Kadrioru, Tallinn.
Shooting: 25m rapid fire pistol
Following his Olympic debut in the first round of 25-meter rapid fire pistol shooting, Peeter Olesk is currently ranked 25th overall, having shot 92 (8 seconds), 92 (6 seconds) and 86 (4 seconds), earning him a total of 270 points. Currently in the lead is German Christian Reitz with 296.
"During the first series I briefly lost control and that led me to become so upset that I couldn't come back," admitted Olesk in an interview with ERR. "Preparations were fairly normal. Perhaps I should have taken a little break in order to pull myself together. Perhaps I trained a little too much."
Sailing: Men's Laser-class
Sailor Karl-Martin Rammo came in 36th place during his seventh race, the first of the day on Friday, and achieved his best position yet in the current Games in coming in 8th place during his eighth race, bringing him to 27th place overall in the current standings.
Speaking to ERR, Rammo admitted that his shot at a podium position was over, and that all that was left to do was sail a couple of good races. "The first race was again unsuccessful, but thankfully the second race was quite like sailing, and like that which I know I should always be capable of." He added that Friday's success on the eighth race was very positive for him after a tough few previous race days.
Croatian Tonči Stipanović, Brazilian Robert Scheidt and Australian Tom Burton currently lead the overall standings. Only the ninth, tenth and medal races remain.
Sailing: Women's RS:X windsurfing
Estonian windsurfer Ingrid Puusta was first runner up to the medal race, coming in 11th place overall after finishing Friday's races in 17th, 14th and 14th place, respectively. Her strongest finish was during the ninth race, when she came in seventh place.
"I think that things went well for me," Puusta told ERR in an interview. "I am satisfied with my results. While the goal was [to reach] the top 10, 11th place is also very good. The few mistakes that I made, now I know that I have a lot of work to do. So next time it'll be a spot in the top 10."
Russian Stefania Jelfutina, Italian Flavia Tartaglini and defending champion Spaniard Marina Alabau currently lead the overall standings prior to the medal race.
Sailing: Women's 49er FX (skiff)
Estonian sailing duo Kätlin Tammiste and Anna Maria Sepp are currently ranked 18th overall after placing 20th in their opening race and 17th in their second. A third race scheduled for Friday was postponed.
Sepp said that they were pleased with the day's races, adding that they were a bit nervous, "But not any more so than at the beginning of the World Championships or European Championships, for example. All procedures were the same as always."
Tammiste pointed out that the sport's top 20 sets of athletes were all there. "You can feel that nobody is going to give anywhere. The level [of ability] is much higher than usual."
Following the first day of races, Danish pair Jena Mai Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen were leading the competition followed by Brazilians Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze.
Athletics: Women's heptathlon
The seven-event heptathlon ended almost as quickly as it began for Grit Šadeiko after she pulled a muscle on the first hurdle in the 100-meter hurdles; the Estonian heptathlete, whose leg was taped at the starting line following a minor tear sustained while practicing before the event, did not even make it to the finish line.
Speaking in an interview with ERR, Šadeiko expressed frustration over the fact that her entire season has been plagued by "all kinds of various little disruptive factors," and that after preparing herself for a proper competition in Rio, things ended up going even worse. "It was apparently payback for being in good form and wanting it badly."
The Estonian heptathlete similarly dropped out of competition at the World Championships in Amsterdam a month prior due a minor back injury. The Rio Games were not her first, however; at the 2012 London Olympics, Šadeiko came in 23rd place with a total of 6,013 points.
Following the first day of competition, defending champion Jessica Ennis-Hill was leading with a total of 4,057 points, followed by Belgian Nafissatou Thiam with 3,985 and Barbadian Akela Jones with 3,964 points.