'Lion From Zion' Korzits Roars Into Second in Women's RS:X at Olympics

Israeli windsurfer ranks second after race eight, trailing Spanish leader, Marina Alabau Neira, by just three points; 'The truth is that I really, really had fun just now,' says Lee Korzits.

LONDON - Lee Korzits moved up to second place in the women's RS:X standings after a fantastic day on the water at Weymouth and Portland on Saturday.

"The truth is that I really, really had fun just now," she said after finishing second and first, respectively, in the seventh and eighth races. "I had a certain feeling before getting on the water, so I was happy I was able to perform well."

Korzits is clearly pleased. Her victory in the eighth race was convincing, and now she trails the Spanish leader, Marina Alabau Neira, by just three points. The Israeli windsurfer looked much better, stronger and more confident than she had on Thursday, before the competitors had a day off.

However, with two races to go on Sunday before Tuesday's medal race, she remains cautious. "There are another two very important days," she said. "I am not euphoric. I hope to be in euphoria in another three days."

Korzits got off to a strong start in the seventh race on Saturday, sailing in brisk winds of 17-20 knots, never falling below third place. She was neck-and-neck with the Spaniard, and proved once again that strong winds only work in her favor by using them to pass her rival a couple of times. However, she was unable to catch Ukrainian windsurfer Olga Maslivets, who won the race.

Things looked even better in the eighth race. Korzits simply sprinted ahead with the wind and the waves, leading practically wire to wire. Not only did she win but her closest competitors were far behind. Alabau Neira finished eighth and now, like Korzits, cannot afford to have another bad race.

Zofia Noceti-Klepacka of Poland, who was second going into the day, finished fifth but was later disqualified, sending her down to fifth. Maslivets moved up to third, but trails Korzits by nine points.

Korzits talked on Saturday about the hat she wore bearing the phrase "Lion from Zion." She said it was primarily to keep her head warm, but it was also to show others that she is indeed the lion from Zion. "I'm a lioness who fought like a lion," she said. Regarding a stress fracture in her leg, Korzits said she will "hold out another three days - that's for sure."