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World Sport

Britain, U.S. share sailing medals


SPECIAL REPORT
• Olympics 2004: Special report 

ATHENS, Greece -- British sailor Ben Ainslie won his second successive yachting gold medal with victory in the Finn class at the Athens Olympics regatta.

Ainslie finished the 11th and final race of the competition in 14th place, knowing his only rival for gold, Rafael Trujillo, needed to finish 14 places ahead of him to seize the title.

Trujillo of Spain claimed the silver while Poland's Mateusz Kusnierewicz, the winner of the final race, collected the bronze medal.

Ainslie, 27, won gold in the smaller laser class four years ago before stepping up to the Finn class. He had slipped to 19th in the standings after being disqualified from the second race but he hit back with four victories, two second places, a third and a fourth.

"I'm elated, just relieved it's all over," a drenched Ainslie told reporters.

"Day one was a bit of a disaster and to come back and win a gold after that was just unbelievable. I'm just so happy I was able to turn it around."

In the men's 470 competition Americans Paul Foerster and Kevin Burnham, at 47 the oldest competitor in the fleet, won gold after dueling with British pair Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield in the final race.

The British crew had needed to finish at least three boats ahead of the Americans to improve on their silver medal. Japan's Seki and Kenjiro Todoroki took bronze.

But there was more gold for Britain in the women's Yngling class as Shirley Robertson, Sarah Webb and Sarah Ayton finished ahead of Ukraine's Ruslana Taran, Ganna Kalinina and Svetlana Matevusheva and Denmark's Dorte Jensen, Helle Jespersen and Christina Otzen.

In other highlights on Saturday at the Athens Games:

  • Indonesia's Taufik Hidayat won gold in the men's singles badminton final, beating South Korea's Shon Seung-Mo 15-8 15-7. Soni Dwi Kuncoro, also Indonesian, took the bronze.
  • Zhang Jiewin and Yang wei, the top seeds, overcame Huang Sui and Gao Ling in an all-Chinese women's doubles final. Zhang and Yang Wei won 7-15 15-4 15-8 but China were denied a medal sweep by Ra Kyung-min and Lee Kyung-won of South Korea, who beat China's Zhao Tingting and Wei Yili 10-15 15-9 15-7 in the bronze medal match.

  • Top seeds Chen Qi and Ma Lin of China beat Ko Lai-chak and Li Ching of Hong Kong 11-6 11-9 7-11 11-8 8-11 11-5 to take the men's doubles gold in table tennis and keep China on track for another Olympic title sweep in Athens.
  • South Korea defended their men's team archery title with 251-244 win over Taiwan in the final. Ukraine beat the U.S. 237-235 for the bronze medal.
  • World number one Ralf Schumann of Germany regained Olympic gold in the men's 25-meters rapid-fire pistol shooting event for the third time. The 42-year-old had finished fifth in Sydney after winning in 1992 and 1996. Russian Sergei Poliakov took silver ahead of compatriot and defending champion Sergei Alifirenko.
  • Ukraine's Yuri Nikitin took gold in the men's trampolining with a score of 41.50, with defending champion Alexander Moskalenko of Russia finishing second. Henrik Stehlik of Germany took the bronze.

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