Brazil Claims Gold in Star Class, Greece Wins Men’s Windsurfing
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) _ Already the best on the beach, Brazil has now struck gold off shore.
``It was a great relief to win after our poor performance in Barcelona,″ Torben Grael said Monday after he and Marcello Ferreira won the Olympic gold medal in Star class yachting.
Grael, who has one title and five other top five finishes in the world championships since 1990, finished only 11th in the 1992 Games.
The unexpected gold medal came two days after Brazilian teams took the gold and silver medals in women’s beach volleyball.
Also Monday, Nikolaos Kaklamanakis of Greece added an Olympic gold medal to his world championship in the men’s Mistral. And two golds clinched Sunday became official: Lee Lai-shan of Hong Kong in women’s windsurfing and Mateusz Kusznierewicz claiming Poland’s first yachting medal in the Finn class.
``I feel pride and honor and lucky because many sailors deserve to do really good here,″ Kaklamanakis said. ``I am happy to be the one at the top of the podium.″
The Australian team of Colin Beashel and David Giles were penalized for a premature start in the Star class, taking them out of gold medal contention, but they claimed the bronze. The silver went to Sweden’s Hans Wallen and Bobby Lohse.
America and Canada had been favored to win. But defending Olympic champions Mark Reynolds of San Diego and Hal Haenel of Los Angeles finished eighth and Canada’s Ross MacDonald and Eric Jespersen were 14th.
``This time I think we were lucky at the games,″ Grael said. ``We got the gold finally. It feels great to have three medals.″
Grael was a sliver medalist in Soling in 1984 in Los Angeles and won the bronze in the Star in 1988.
Americans remain in contention for medals in several other classes.
The gold medal in Tornado was clinched by Spain’s Jose Luis Ballester and Fernando Leon, so Tuesday’s final race will be a scramble for silver and bronze among Americans John Lovell of New Orleans and Charlie Ogletree of Kemah, Texas, plus Australia, France, Brazil and Italy.
The California-based Soling team of Jeff Madrigali, Jim Barton and Kent Massey claimed one of two byes for the match race competition with one victory and a discarded 12th-place finish. They finished with 36 points, two more than German’s Jochen Schuemann, Thomas Flack and Bernd Jaekel.
``We had a chance to win the regatta,″ said Madrigali, who was happy with finishing ahead of British skipper Andrew Beadsworth.
Also advancing in Soling behind Britain were Canada, Russia and Denmark.
In the women’s 470 double-handed dinghy class, Kris Stookey of Darien, Conn., and Louise Van Voorhis of Webster, N.Y., were second Monday and stood in second place overall with three races to go.
They are one point behind the current world and defending Olympic champions, Theresa Zabell and Begona Via Dufresne of Spain.
Courtenay Becker-Dey remained third in the Europe class after ninth and second-place finishes. Two-time world champion Kristine Roug of Denmark holds a seven-point lead heading into Wednesday’s final race.
Floridians Morgan Reeser and Kevin Burnham were sixth in the men’s 470 after placing fourth Monday. They were only five points out of third. Yevhin Braslavets and Ihor Matviyenko of Ukraine hold a commanding 25-point lead with three races remaining.
In Lasers, Robert Scheidt of Brazil won both races and took a two-point lead over Britain’s Ben Ainslie going into Wednesday’s final race. Peer Moberg of Norway was third and America’s Nick Adamson was out of contention in 15th.