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Americans Stumble in Tornado, Fail to Win Medal

July 30, 1996

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) _ America’s woes in the Olympic yachting regatta continued today when its Tornado team blew a chance for a medal.

Entering the final race with a one-point lead over France, John Lovell of New Orleans and Charlie Ogletree of Kemah, Texas, finished 12th and dropped into eighth place overall in the final standings.

After winning medals in nine of 10 classes in Barcelona four years ago, the American sailors have none so far on home waters.

Fernando Leon and Jose Luis Ballester of Spain had clinched the gold in Monday’s racing on the Atlantic and decided to sit out the final race, finishing with 30 points and a 12-point victory over silver medalist Mitch Booth and Andrew Landenberger of Australia.

The bronze went to Lars Grael and Kiko Pellicano of Brazil, one point behind the Aussies and one point ahead of teams from Austria and Italy, which placed first and second, respectively, in today’s race.

With four of the 10 classes having completed their regatta on Monday, there were only five races schedule today _ the final for the catamarans and two races each in the men’s and women’s 470 double-handed dinghy class.

The U.S. duos in the 470s also faltered, but each has two races left to try to secure a medal.

In the women’s, Kris Stookey of Darien, Conn., and Louise Van Voorhis of Webster, N.Y., dropped from second, one point out of the lead, to third, eight off the lead, when they placed 14th today.

Japan’s Yumiko Shige and Alicia Kinoshita won the race and moved into a share of the lead with the current world champions, Theresa Zabell and Begona Via Dufresne, with 23 points each. The Spaniards were third in today’s race.

The Florida crew of Morgan Reeser and Kevin Burnham started the day in sixth place in the men’s 470, but they dropped one notch to seven when they were dropped to the bottom of the fleet for a premature start.

Reeser and Morgan had 60 points, 13 behind the third-place team with two races remaining.

The runaway leaders, Yevhen Braslavets and Ihor Matviyenko of Ukraine had their second-to-worst finish so far, a 10th, which they discarded and had a net of 23 points.

Portugal’s Vitor Rocha and Nuno Barreto placed second today to remain in second place, 17b points behind. Great Britain’s Ian Walker and John Merricks were lodged in third with 47 points, seven behind Portugal, following their 15th-place finish.