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23 August 2002, 06:54 pm
Final Day
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2002 Olympic Test Event
Athens

There was an exciting climax to the event for many of the Olympic classes racing at the 2002 Athens Test Event, except for the Mistral class who had a disappointing finish with no racing possible today.
Sofia Bekatorou/Emilia Tsoulfa (GRE), ISAF World ranked number three, very much dominated the 470 women class in Athens on their home waters not even needing to race in the final race today. They were obviously very comfortable with the conditions as they were some 25 points clear of Maria Fernanda Sesto/Paula Reinoso (ARG) in silver, and Ingrid Petitjean/Nadege Dourouz (BRA) in the bronze medal positions.

Johan Molund/Martin Andersson (SWE) also had no need to race the final race in the 470 men class, winning the Gold medal ahead of Alvaro Marinho/Miguel Nunes (POR) in silver and Yevgen Braslavets/Igor Matvienko (UKR) in bronze.

Christoffer Sundby/Adam Lowry (NOR) won the 49er class impressively indeed with two races to spare from World and European champions Iker Martinez/Xabier Fernandez (ESP). Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks (GBR) took the bronze.

There was a close battle for the medal in the Europe class although most of the top sailors are in Canada preparing for the Europe Class World Championships and first Olympic Qualification Regatta that begin on the 28 August. Solenne Brain (FRA) was the winner by just two points from Virginia Kravarioti (GRE) and Ermio Oikonomopoulou (GRE) in silver and bronze.

Going into the final day of racing in the Finn class, Ben Ainslie had established a 33-point lead over his team mate Andrew Simpson. With two races left to sail his main tactic for the final day would be to stay out of trouble and sail safe. This tactic work as he secured the Gold medal, with Andrew Simpson (GBR) in silver and Joao Signorini (BRA) taking the bronze medal home.

In the Laser class the gold medal was already decided and won by Daniel Birgmark (SWE) with a race to spare, but silver and bronze were still open. Paul Goodison (GBR) got a bullet in the last race to pull back up from fourth to take the Silver medal. Rasmus Myrgren (SWE) took the bronze.

There was no racing for either the Mistral women or men. Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medallist Alessandra Sensini (ITA) continued her domination of the Mistral class winning the Gold from Atlanta 1996 gold medallist Lee Lai Shan (HKG). The young chinese sailor Yin Jian won the bronze medal.

Nikos Kaklamanakis (GRE) had the Mistral men class sewn up with a race to spare, but in the end had to make no decision about whether to race the final race because the wind gods decided for him that there would be no racing. In the silver medal position was a newcomer to the podium James Wells (NZL), with fellow New Zealander Jon Paul Tobin just behind taking the bronze medal.

There was an extremely close finale to the Tornado class as to who would win the gold medal at this first Athens Test Event. Roman Hagara/Hans-Peter Steinacher (AUT) finished tied on points with Darren Bundock/John Forbes (AUS), and it was the Austrians who got the gold on count back, so that the Australians had to settle for silver. Olivier Backes/Laurent Voiron (FRA) won the bronze medal.

In the three-person keelboat, the Yngling class, the competition was getting hot going into the final race. Melanie Dennison/Caroline Aders/Fiona Herbert (AUS) were four points in front of Shirley Robertson/Inga Leask/Sarah Ayton (GBR) with Hannah Swett/Joan Touchette/Melissa Purdy (USA) five points behind in third place.

Robertson/Leask/Ayton (GBR) found themselves over early and had to go back over the start line to exonorate themselves. Swett/Touchette/Purdy (USA) won the last race to give them the silver medal. Dennison/Aders/Herbert (AUS) finished fourth to give them the Gold, and 17th position for Robertson/Leask/Ayton (GBR) was enough for them to take the bronze.

Results:

470 Women
1, Sofia Bekatorou/Emilia Tsoulfa, GRE (3,15,1,5,1,1,1,11,8,4,(DNC)) 50 pts
2, Maria Fernanda Sesto/Paula Reinoso, ARG (7,2,7,(19),19,8,15,2,4,8,3) 75
pts
3, Ingrid Petitjean/Nadege Dourouz, FRA (11,3,5,9,(OCS),10,17,5,10,3,9) 82
pts

470 Men
1, Johan Molund/Martin Andersson, SWE (5,5,12,7,4,2,2,8,6,15,(DNC)) 66 pts
2, Alvaro Marinho/Miguel Nunes, POR (6,12,3,2,14,4,14,7,(28),4,20) 86 pts
3, Yevgen Braslavets/Igor Matvienko, UKR (4,10,5,8,(OCS),7,8,24,7,6,11) 90
pts

49er
1, Christoffer Sundby/Adam Lowry, NOR
(8,3,(10),9,1,1,2,6,13,10,1,2,5,1,(DNC),(DNC) 72 pts
2, Iker Martinez/Xabier Fernandez, ESP
(2,(19),4,5,11,16,4,1,9,15,19,12,3,10,4,7) 103 pts
3, Chris Draper/Simon Hiscocks, GBR
(4,(OCS),6,2,(15),13,9,5,8,13,11,9,9,2,(16),12) 118 pts

Europe
1, Solenne Brain, FRA (2,3,2,1,1,2,3,1,3,(DNF),1) 19 pts
2, Virginia Kravarioti, GRE (3,2,1,2,(5),3,2,3,2,1,2) 21 pts
3, Ermio Oikonomopoulou, GRE (4,1,(5),4,4,1,1,2,1,3,3) 29 pts

Finn
1, Ben Ainslie, GBR (2,1,2,5,1,2,(DNF),1,1,9,13) 37 pts
2, Andrew Simpson, GBR (3,15,1,3,7,11,4,(24),4,3,3) 52 pts
3, Joao Signorini, BRA (5,17,9,10,4,1,(OCS),7,2,6,2) 63 pts

Laser
1, Daniel Birgmark, SWE (4,5,2,(17),11,13,4,2,3,13,(DNC)) 74 pts
2, Paul Goodison, GBR (1,2,11,2,17,1,38,(OCS),24,1,1) 98 pts
3, Rasmus Myrgren, SWE (6,12,10,9,1,12,12,16,(32),17,17) 112 pts

Mistral Women
1, Alessandra Sensini, ITA (6,1,2,5,1,1,5,(7),2,1) 24 pts
2, Lai Shan Lee, HKG (1,9,1,1,16,(OCS),4,1,1,8) 42 pts
3, Yin Jian, CHN (2,2,4,(DSQ),14,2,14,12,3,4) 57 pts

Mistral Men
1, Nikolaos Kaklamanakis, GRE (3,5,1,1,2,2,(9),8,5,5) 32 pts
2, James Wells, NZL (13,1,2,3,(17),1,6,10,6,8) 49 pts
3, Jon-Paul Tobin, NZL (1,7,(19),2,4,13,5,1,10,7) 50 pts

Tornado
1, Roman Hagara/Hans-Peter Steinacher, AUT (3,6,6,1,2,1,12,2,2,6,(16)) 41
pts
2, Darren Bundock/John Forbes, AUS (2,(16),5,4,1,9,5,3,6,3,3) 41 pts
3, Olivier Backes/Laurent Voiron, FRA (1,5,2,(21),4,2,4,8,5,7,11) 49 pts

Yngling
1, Melanie Dennison/Caroline Aders/Fiona Herbert, AUS
(8,1,5,3,12,(18),3,1,8,11,4) 56 pts
2, Hannah Swett/Joan Touchette/Melissa Purdy, USA
(1,9,3,7,2,21,5,11,(23),2,1) 62 pts
3, Shirley Robertson/Sarah Ayton/Inga Leask, GBR (6,21,9,9,3,5,6,8,2,8,17)
73 pts

Sacha Oswald/News Editor
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