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SCOOP Olympic Update, Friday 22 Sept, 2000

Published: Fri 22 Sep 2000 08:29 PM
SCOOP Olympic Update, Friday 22 Sept, 2000
Article: Mathew Loh
EXHIBITING superb sailing skills in tortuous light conditions on Sydney harbour board-sailing queen, Barbarba Kendall, ensured she will win a medal by winning the 10th race of the 11 race series.
Despite the lack of wind making sailing almost a lottery Kendall used all her wit, experience and sheer sailing genius to lead home the field and by doing so she guaranteed herself either a silver or bronze medal to go with the gold she won in Barcelona in 1992 and the silver she earned at the 1996 Atlanta Olympiad.
Germany's Amelie Lux with 13 points is a certainty for gold leaving the struggle for silver in the 11th race to Kendall on 16 points and Italy's Alessandra Sensini on 14.
At only 50kg compared to Kendall's 57kg Lux is a real lightweight and sailing smart she took full advantage of the edge her lack of bulk gave her in the extremely light conditions.
"It (the conditions) was tailor-made for Amelie and I take my hat off to her as she sailed smart and won," said Kendall.
However despite conceding the gold to her rival the Barcelona gold medalist was keen to stress how happy she was to be challenging for silver.
"I'm sure of a medal whether it's silver or bronze depends...but I'm really happy with the way I've sailed," said Kendall.
"In fact given the conditions I believe I've sailed as well or better than I ever have and to do that and get into the top three is incredible,".
In the men's boardsailing Aaron McIntosh is also challenging strongly for a medal and is currently in third place after nine races and is chasing Argentine Carlos Espinosa and Cristoph Sieber from Austria.
Daniel Slater and Nathan Handley must be ruing their lack of early form in this regatta but they have improved with time and are now in 8th position in the 49er class with two races to go.
Multi-talented helmsman Chris Dickson and Glen Sowry in the Open Tornado class continue to impress and are lying fifth.
And in the 470 class the men's crew of Peter Nicolas and Simon Cooke are making up numbers in 10th place but the women's 470 crew of Melinda Henshaw and Jenny Egnot are sailing brilliantly and remain a strong medal hope with an impressive 3rd placing overall after six races.
Off the water Wellington's Olivia Baker lifted a total of 235kg to finish eighth in the over 75kg women's weightlifting. China's Ding Meiyuan earned the title of the world's strongest woman by winning gold with two huge lifts totalling a history-making 300 kilograms.
Two giant teenagers shared the minor placings with Poland's Agata Wrobel taking silver and massive 17-year-old Cheryl Haworth from the USA won bronze.
Other New Zealanders to feature on day seven were Fiona Ireland who impressed in the 78kg judo by winning her first bout before losing in the second round to China's Yuan Hua. She then went on to the repechages and unfortunately was beaten again by tough Brazilian Priscila Marques.
On the shooting range Tania Corrigan came in 37th in the woman's 25metre pistol while both Brian Thomson and Geoffrey Jukes disappointed in finishing well down the field in the skeet shoot.
At the pool Vivienne Rignell earned a semi-final in the women's 50 metre sprint but Jonathan Duncan was eliminated after the heats of the men's 1500 metres.
In team sports the New Zealand women's basketball team were outclassed 93-42 by a powerful USA team and the White Sox women's softball team almost certainly fell out of medal contention by losing 2-0 to the USA.
And in the first day on the track Toni Hodgkinson impressed in qualifying for the semi-finals after coming 4th in a tough 800 metres heat.

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