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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | YACHTING

Becker-Dey Keeps U.S. Streak Alive

August 01, 1996|Times Wire Services

No longer do American sailors have to worry about going without an Olympic yachting medal for the first time in 60 years.

Courtenay Becker-Dey took care of that, claiming the bronze in the Europe class.

"This is a dream come true," she said. "It's what I've always wanted."

Becker-Dey, a 31-year-old Oregonian, used a sixth-place finish in the final race to win the first medal in what has been a disappointing Olympic regatta for the United States.

The last time the Americans failed to medal in yachting was in the Berlin Games in 1936.

Becker-Dey took a year off from the dinghy in 1995, when she was navigator of America3 in the America's Cup.

She finished with 39 points, two better than the only person who could have denied her a medal--Shirley Robertson of Great Britain.

The gold went to two-time world champion Kristine Roug of Denmark and the silver to Margriet Matthijsse of the Netherlands. Roug finished with 24 points, Matthijsse 30 and Robertson 41.

Seven events in the 10-event regatta were completed before the Americans finally earned a spot in a medal ceremony.

The seventh came earlier in the day on the Atlantic when Brazil's Robert Scheidt, a two-time world champion, won his gold without participating in the final Laser race.

He was disqualified, but so was the only other sailor with a chance to win, Ben Ainslie of Britain. Scheidt won with 26 points, and Ainslie had 37 after both were disqualified. Peer Morberg of Norway took the bronze.

Seven other boats also were disqualified, including Nick Adamson of Newport Beach.

The Soling class began its best-of-five quarterfinal match race series involving the top six teams in the fleet racing. Fifth-seeded Russia eliminated fourth-seeded Canada, 3-0, and third-seeded Great Britain beat sixth-seeded Denmark, 3-2, overcoming a 2-0 deficit.

The American team of Jeff Madrigali, Jim Barton and Kent Massey placed second in the fleet and will meet Russia in a best-of-seven series today. Germany, winner of the fleet racing portion, meets Britain.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

MEDALISTS / Yachting

OPEN LASER

Gold: Robert Scheidt, Brazil

Silver: Ben Ainslie, Britain

Bronze: Peer Moberg, Norway

*

WOMEN'S EUROPE

Gold: Kristine Roug, Denmark

Silver: Margriet Matthijsse, Netherlands

Bronze: Courtenay Becker-Dey, United States

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