Thursday, August 21, 2008

Gold Star

Simpson & Percy Star Gold Medallists 2008 Qingdao Medal Race. Photo by Ingrid Abery
QINGDAO, China (AP) - Britain closed out Olympic sailing racing Thursday by taking its fourth sailing gold of the Beijing Games, with Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson winning the Star keelboat class.

Fernando Echavarri (left) and Anton Paz of Spain fly their national flag in celebration of finishing first overall following the Tornado class race medal race held at the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center during Day 13 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on Aug. 21.

The British pair were followed by the Brazilian team of Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada and Sweden's Fredrik Loof and Anders Ekstrom.

The finish was so close that a jury had to review video footage before it confirmed the Swede's placing in the final.

In the fast Tornado class catamarans, Spain's Fernando Echavarri and Anton Paz took gold, ahead of silver medalists Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby of Australia. Santiago Lange and Carlos Espinola of Argentina took the bronze in tough conditions, with strong winds, choppy waves and rain. Out of 10 boats that started, the German catamaran capsized and the Greek boat failed to finish.

"The conditions were really difficult today, and we were quite nervous," said Echavarri. "After 10 years of training, we finally got our first Olympic medal. We feel like we're the luckiest ones here." Full report...