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Yin wins China´s first Sailing gold

Source: BOCOG | 08-20-2008 16:37

Special Report:   2008 Beijing Olympic Games

(' target=_blank>QINGDAO, August 20) -- Yin Jian nearly caused a riot Wednesday when she won China's first ever Olympic Sailing gold medal in a heart-stopping performance that had Chinese spectators screaming and waving flags.

Yin Jian celebrates after her win.
Yin Jian celebrates after her win.

A roar went up from the fans lining the viewing wall just outside the venue when they realised Yin had won gold by finishing third in the medal race after fighting back from fifth and out of contention for the title.

Italy's Alessandra Sensini won the race to take silver while Bryony Shaw of Great Britain took bronze after finishing the race second.

Yin led out and chose the left side of the course with Australia and New Zealand in toe, while Yin's main adversaries, Marina Alabau of Spain, Sensini and Shaw went right.

The right side paid and Yin was forced into catch-up as first Alabau, then Shaw and finally Sensini took the lead. Trouble loomed when Ukrainian sailor Olha Maslivets, who was out of the medal running, came between the front pack and China. Had it finished that way, it would have cost Yin the gold medal.

But while Sensini got away from the fleet, Yin fought back to third to claim Olympic glory.

"I didn't think about anything during today's race. I knew that if I kept passing one after another, that victory would be mine," said Yin, asking excitedly: "Is this real? Is this real? Did I really win gold?"

Sensini's silver was the only color missing from this remarkable 38-year-old woman's collection of gold from the Sydney 2000 Games, and bronze from 1996 and 2004 Olympics. For someone who does not enjoy the light conditions, she did a great job in winning.

"I am very happy with the silver medal because it's very challenging for me to sail in light winds," Sensini explained.

"I got a good start. I was glad the wind was stronger on the first leg -- I felt I had gold in my pocket, because I was first and the Chinese girl was ninth. It was a pity the wind decreased on the second leg, but at last I turned it around on the last leg," she said.

Olympic first-timer Shaw's bronze added to the swag of medals Great Britain has already won in Beijing. Shaw said her team's medal wins had helped to inspire her.

"I feel emotionally released," she said. "I gave all my efforts to this Olympics, and I feel very lucky to have team Great Britain's support"


Editor:Chen Ge