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14 January 2004, 03:36 pm
Battle for Olympic Selection
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Sail Melbourne - Olympic and Invited Classes

Allison SHREEVE and Jessica CRISP are both determined to get the Australian Olympic spot for Athens - but only one can go. In their continuing battle today, Shreeve came up trumps in Race 3, then Crisp returned the favour, winning Race 4.
It is Shreeve, though, who continues to lead the point score on equal points with Faustine MERRET (FRA), but leading the French girl on count back. Crisp, however, has jumped up into third place, and the fight for the Olympic spot is well and truly on.

Great Britains girls are having a battle of their own too - the younger, newer girl to the class, Bryony Shaw, currently in fourth place, leaving the favoured Natasha Sturges down in 11 place overall, Sturges saying this afternoon 'I bottomed out badly in Race 4, (a 13 place for the former Olympic rep.), I am not having a particularly good regatta.

Sturges may not feel she is having a particularly good regatta but, unlike Shreeve and Crisp, she is assured of her place in Athens following an announcement by the British Olympic Association yesterday. Christina Bassadone and Katherine Hopson - 470 Women, Laura Baldwin - Europe and Natasha Sturges - Mistral Women were confirmed yesterday as members of Team GB Athens 2004 following their nomination by the RYA.

Simon CLEGG, the Chef de Mission for Team GB Athens 2004 and the Chief Executive of the British Olympic Association said: "I'm delighted to welcome these four sailors into Team GB for Athens 2004. The fifth place achieved by Christina and Katherine at the 2003 World Championships confirmed their rapid rise up the world rankings. Natasha and Laura are both talented athletes who have competed at World Championships and are set to join a group of highly experienced British sailors in Athens."

Stephen PARK, the RYA's Olympic Team Manager said: "2004 is set to be an exciting year for British sport and I am very pleased that we have been able to announce the majority of the team at this stage. These early selections will allow the sailors to be more Athens focussed and leaves us only with the Laser class to select."

13 sailors have already been announced as members of Team GB following the Sailing World Championships in Cadiz in September last year. The selection of the British Laser athlete will be made later in the year.

Meanwhile back in Melbourne, Julian BONTEMPS (FRA) continues to lead the Mistral Mens, with two wins today from two races. Max OBEREMKO (UKR) also continues to show his racing skills, with a 3-2 result for second overall.

Representative from the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Lars KLEPPICH (AUS) had a more successful day today with a second place in Race 3 and a third in Race 4, showing that age is no barrier at the end of the day. This result has put him in third place overall, his Olympic chances for Athens looking better and better.

Racing resumes in the Sandringham Yacht Club event on Port Phillip Bay tomorrow.

Di Pearson & RYA (As Amended by ISAF)
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