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6 July 2009, 12:00 pm
Last Races Full of Excitement At Asian Youth Games Singapore
Bipeng WEI, the prodigious Chinese winner of the Bic Techno boys event
Bipeng WEI, the prodigious Chinese winner of the Bic Techno boys event

Asian Youth Games Singapore 2009
Singapore

Thailand took the nations trophy as the final medals were decided at the Asian Youth Games during the last day of racing in Singapore.
Although a good half of the medals for the Asian Youth Games sailing event had already been decided well before the concluding race of the regatta, the fight was still on for the silver and bronze in the windsurfing boys and the bronze medal for both Bic Techno and Byte CII girls.

Racing on the last day proved to be just as intense as the previous days on all fleets - courtesy race or not, the sailors put up a good show in the 15 knot breeze to make the final race a memorable one for athletes and spectators alike.

Thailand topped the Nations Trophy standings with 31 points. China, on 26 points, just beat Singapore (25 points) to second place.

Boys One Person Dinghy - Byte CII

Although he clinched the title a day early, Darren CHOY of Singapore continued to sail well in the last race, ending the regatta in style with a final bullet.

Malaysian Muhamad Amirul SHAFIQ fought hard and initially led the race, however he made a mistake on the course and headed for the wrong mark after the second upwind, handing first position to Singapore and taking second for himself. This was enough to secure him his bronze medal, however.

Japan rounded up the top three for the last race in the boys fleet.

Girls One Person Dinghy - Byte CII

Although gold and silver, for Jittiwa Thanawitwilat of Thailand and Singapore's Najwa Jumali respectively, were already decided in this fleet, the fight was still on between Malaysia and China for bronze. Singapore took an early lead and crossed the finishing line first, however she was scored OCS for a premature start, and thus it was Malaysia's Khairunneeta AFENDY who took the bullet.

Gu MIN of China proved hard to defeat, however, as despite a number of capsizes during the race, she kept going to make it in second, which secured her the bronze medal for the regatta.

Boys Windsurfer - Techno 293

Wei BIPENG, the prodigious Chinese winner of the Bic Techno boys event, had a good view of the intense battle behind him for silver and bronze. Nakaret VANTANA, who started the day defending second, managed to hold his silver medal, finishing the race in second.

South Korean Kim CHANEUI fought valiantly against his Hong Kong competitor Kwok Tsz HIM and managed to prevail at the finishing line to come in third, thus sealing the bronze for the Republic of Korea.

Girls Windsurfer - Techno 293

First and second in the Bic Techno girls class has been decided well ahead of the last day, with Siripon Kaewduang-Ngam of Thailand taking the top prize ahead of China's Hao Xiumei. This meant the spotlight on the Bic Techno girls fleet was undoubtedly on Singapore and Hong Kong as Audrey YONG and Man Ka KEI fought it out on the race course for third. With both girls a point apart, it was up to Hong Kong to come out two positions ahead to win. KEI proved to be less comfortable than YONG in the mid-range wind, however, and ended up fourth to YONG's third. The bronze medal for the Bic Techno girls therefore went to Singapore.

"I love strong wind," said an excited YONG after the race. "I had a great time today."

Indeed the final race for the Asian Youth Games sailing regatta was an excellent conclusion to what has certainly been an exciting week of racing. The sailors have all performed well, and so have the race management and support teams, who have been hard at work to conduct the races.

"It's fantastic," said Mr Andrew SANDERS, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Sailing Federation. "National Sailing Centre, the organization, the volunteers ... I haven't seen it so slick before! It's quite remarkable what Singapore has done in such a short time to make the Asian Youth Games a success."

The successful conclusion of the sailing event certainly bodes well for next year, when the Youth Olympic Games will be held at the same venue.

Results, photos and more are available at www.ayg2009.sg/page/Sailing.

Find out more on the Youth Olympic Games at www.sailing.org/youtholympicgames.

Dawn Liu (As Amended By ISAF)
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