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Sailing - 14. August 2008.

Racing heats up as medal race draws closer for some

Women's Laser Radial (Women's One Person Dinghy)

Anna Tunnicliffe from the United States continues to do what she does best -- staying at the front end of major events. There was only one race sailed Wednesday in which Tunnicliffe finished well enough to increase her lead to seven points -- a great start towards gold.

Like the Men's Laser, some unfamiliar names take pride in placing at the top of the standings, including a new name in second place, Mateja Petronijevic from Croatia, and rising star Gintare Volungeviciute of Lithuania in third.

Women's RS:X (Windsurfer)

Loving the light breeze on home turf, Chinese sailor Yin Jian seems unstoppable -- she produced an impressive three straight wins in the opening races and finished day two with a very respectable third to lead the series by nine points. All the top boardsailors have acknowledged that if the conditions stay light, they will have a hard job of beating Yin, who makes it look so easy.

However, there are five other women who will try to give the Chinese star a run for her money -- three have extensive Olympic experience, of which two can boast three medals apiece, while the other two are young and keen and sit high in the world rankings.

Yngling (Women's Keelboat)

Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson from Great Britain have been sailing their own regatta and are punching out finishes to give them an average, after the discard, of less than three points.

Mandy Mulder, Annemieke Bes and Merel Witteveen from the Netherlands were put through the training paces harder and longer than any of the other teams, and they are sailing together like champions who have been in the same boat for four years instead of just a little over four weeks. Expect them to hold their second place position in the racing on Thursday, August 14.

Now that Sally Barkow, Debbie Capozzi and Carrie Howe from the United States have won a race, and their teammates in the Men's 470 and the 49er fleets won races on Wednesday, expect them to come out fighting and trying to take a big bite out of the lead that the Dutch have on them.


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