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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | YACHTING

U.S. Hopes Sinking With 5 Classes Sailed

July 31, 1996|Times Wire Services

The U.S. yachting team, which won medals in nine of 10 classes in Barcelona, has been shut out through five events in home waters off Savannah, Ga., and it might get worse.

The Americans can't win anything in the Lasers, one of the five classes left to be decided.

Fernando Leon and Jose Luis Ballester of Spain sat on shore Tuesday after clinching the gold medal in Tornado class, and Mitch Booth and Andrew Landenberger of Australia won the silver and Lars Grael and Kiko Pellicano of Brazil the bronze.

"It was a very relaxing day ashore and we are very, very happy with our gold medal win," Leon said.

It wasn't so relaxing on the water.

John Lovell of New Orleans and Charlie Ogletree of Kemah, Texas, had a one-point lead over France for third entering the final day of the Tornado class.

But they stumbled to eighth overall by finishing 10th and 12th in the final two races.

"We had a bad start and it was downhill from there," Lovell said. "Our goal was to be in there in the end and have a shot at a medal, and we reached our goal."

Yevhin Braslavets and Ihor Matviyenko of Ukraine clinched the gold in the men's 470, despite finishes of 10th and eighth.

Morgan Reeser of Wilton Manors, Fla., and Kevin Burnham of Coral Gables, Fla., were dropped to the back of the fleet because of a premature start in the first race, in which they had finished second. They came back to win the second race, leaving them fifth overall, but they will need a collapse by Britain, Portugal and Russia to win a medal.

America does have strong medal hopes in Soling, where Californians Jeff Madrigali, Jim Barton and Kent Massey have advanced to the semifinals of match-race competition.

There's also a chance in the Europe class. Courtenay Becker-Dey of The Dalles, Ore., will try to maintain her third-place standing.

In women's 470s, Kris Stookey of Darien, Conn., and Louise Van Voorhis of Webster, N.Y., are tied for third with Ukraine's Rusiana Taran and Olena Pakholchik.

The current world champions, Theresa Zabell and Begona Via Dufresne of Spain lead the standings, with Japan second.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Medalists / Yachting

Tornado

Gold: Jose Luis Ballester and Fernando Leon, Spain

Silver: Andrew Landenberger and Mitch Booth, Australia

Bronze: Kiko Pellicano and Lars Grael, Brazil

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