Estonians in Rio, Day 6: Quadruple sculls team brings home bronze, women's épée team close, but no cigar
The Estonian men's quadruple sculls team earned bronze, Estonia's first Olympic medal in the Rio Games, while the women's épée team fell short of the same, losing to Russia in the bronze medal match. Windsurfer Ingrid Puusta is currently ranked 11th and Finn-class sailor Deniss Karpak 18th while judoka Grigori Minaškin's Olympic road came to an end.
Rowing: Men's quadruple sculls
The Estonian men's quadruple sculls team, consisting of Andrei Jämsä, Allar Raja, Tõnu Endrekson and Kaspar Taimsoo, earned a bronze medal — the country's first Olympic medal in the 2016 Rio Games — in the final for their event on Thursday.
At the 500-meter mark, Estonia was in fifth place before rowing into third by the halfway point, a position onto which they held through the finish line. Their bronze is the first Olympic medal Estonia has earned in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.
The gold medal went to Germany, who led the pack from start to finish with a time of 6:06:81, and silver to Australia, who finished with a time of 6:07:96. The four Estonian athletes earned the last spot on the podium with a time of 6:10:65.
"The most difficult race of my life — absolutely!" said Raja in an interview with ERR. "I believe that what bore fruit today was the fact that every man wanted this more than ever before. It was so tangible that that it just gave [us] extra strength. Every stroke counted. Every man gave his all with every stroke; not one moment was discounted. So it went 'til the very end.
Fencing: Women's team épée
After defeating South Korea 27:26 in the quarterfinals and losing 36:45 to China in the semifinals, the Estonian women's épée team, consisting of Irina Embrich, Erika Kirpu, Julia Beljajeva and Kristina Kuusk, eventually lost 31:37 to Russia as well in the bronze medal match, placing fourth overall in their event.
Team captain Irina Embrich opened the match with a 3:2 round win over Tatiana Logunova, after which Russia took the lead and maintained it. Embrich also closed out the match with a point-heavy 10:12 round loss to Violetta Kolobova, hiking the score between the 8th and 9th rounds from 21:25 to 31:37 before conceding the bronze to Russia.
"I think that there was a bit of fear, that these are the Olympic Games," multiple-time European and World Championship medalist Embrich told ERR after the match. "Perhaps we should have fenced more freely, but it didn't work out that way, and the pressure — [our] first time at the Olympics, and the [other] girls are still young, not as experienced as me — I perhaps took it a bit more in stride."
Sailing: Women's RS:X-class windsurfing
In her seventh race, won by Italian Flavia Tartaglini, Estonian windsurfer Ingrid Puusta managed to briefly rise to 8th place before finishing in 9th. In her eighth race, won by Brazilian Patrícia Freitas, Puusta managed to reach 6th place before finishing in 12th. In her ninth race, won by Spaniard Marina Alabau, Puusta finished in 7th place, her best position so far during the current Games.
Following these races, Puusta has returned to 11th place overall with a score of 106. The RS:X class is currently led by Russian Stefania Elfutina (45), Italian Flavia Tartaglini (47) and Frenchwoman Charline Picon (47).
Sailing: Men's Finn-class
In his fifth race, won by Hungarian Zsombor Berecz, Estonian Deniss Karpak finished in 23rd, or last place. His sixth race, won by Brit Giles Scott, went markedly better, with the Estonian sailor finishing in 10th place.
Following these races, Karpak has maintained his position in 18th place overall with a score of 89. The Finn class is currently led by the UK's Scott Giles (35), Slovenian Vasilij Žbogar (45) and Hungarian Zsombor Berecz (58).
Judo: Men's 100kg (220lb) division
Estonian judoka Grigori Minaškin began the Rio judo tournament with a loss in the >100kg division to 2009 World Champion and 2011 World Champion silver medalist Maxim Rakov of Kazakhstan.
In the second round, Rakov lost in turn to Czech judoka Lukáš Krpálek, preventing Minaškin from continuing to compete.
Ten Estonian Olympians to compete on Friday
The first Estonian to compete on Friday, Aug. 12 will be badminton player Kati Tolmoff, who is scheduled to continue competition in the women's singles event beginning at 3:00 p.m.
Competing in the qualifications round for men's discus throw will be Gerd Kanter in the A-group at 3:30 p.m. and Martin Kupper in the B-group at 4:55 p.m.
Grit Šadeiko will kick off the Rio women's heptathlon with the 100m hurdles at 3:35 p.m., which will be followed at 4:50 p.m. by the high jump, at 2:35 a.m. by shot put and 4:05 a.m. by the 200m sprint.
23-year-old Peeter Olesk will make his Olympic debut in the first stage of the 25m rapid fire pistol qualifications round at 6:15 p.m.
Windsurfer Ingrid Puusta will continue with the 10th, 11th and 12th races in the RS:X-class competition, the first of which is scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m. After a day of rest, Laser-class sailor Karl-Martin Rammo will also take part in two more races.
Friday will also see the 49erFX-class sailing competition kick off with Estonian sailors Kätlin Tammiste and Anna Maria Sepp, and at 10:40 p.m. Raul Must will hit the court for the men's G-group badminton singles.
|08:30||Rio 2016: Competition Day Overview|
|08:45||Olympics Day 6 in Rio (repeat)|
|15:30||Rio 2016: Competition Day Preview||14:50||Badminton: Women's singles|
|15:55||Rowing: Finals||17:55||Tennis: Men's semifinals; Sailing: RS:X 12th race; Shooting: 25m rapid fire pistol|
|22:35||Olympics Day 7 in Rio|
|00:50||Basketball: USA-Serbia||00:20||Cycling: Track men's team pursuit|