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8 August 2008, 07:00 am
Lone Sailors Carry Hopes Of Their Country
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2008 Beijing Olympic Games
Qingdao, China

Nineteen sailors have come to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on their own and are facing their challenges without the support of a team.
They are Gregory DOUGLAS (BAR), Irina KONSTANTINOVA (BUL), Matias DEL SOLAR (CHI), Santiago GRILLO (COL), Raul AGUAYO (DOM), Juan MAEGLI (GUA), Gusti Made Oka SULAKSANA (INA), Nachhatar Singh JOHAL (IND), Thomas BARROWS, III (ISV), Gintare VOLUNGEVICIUTE (LTU), Marc SCHMIT (LUX), Kevin LIM (MAS), Florencia CERUTTI (PAR), Paloma SCHMIDT (PER), Allan JULIE (SEY), Patrik POLLAK (SVK), Hao CHANG (TPE), Mohammad ADIL KHALID (UAE) and Alejandro FOGLIA (URU).

The South African Yngling crew of Dominique PROVOYEUR, Kim REW and Penny ALISON are also the only crew from their country - but at least they have each other.

Laser Radial sailor, Florencia CERUTTI (PAR) is making history.

"I am very proud to be the only sailor representing Paraguay in Qingdao," she said. "I am also honoured to be the first woman from Paraguay ever to come to the Olympics as a sailor. This is my first time in China, because I could not afford to come here for the Test Events or to practise."

Some sailors, including Laser competitors Alejandro FOGLIA (URU), Gregory DOUGLAS (BAR), Gintare VOULUNGEVICIUTE (LTU) and Matias del SOLAR (CHI), come from sailing families and are used to being split up.

FOGLIA's sisters Andrea and Mariana are the reigning Snipe Women's World Champions, so his mother and father often find themselves in different parts of the world. This time, DOUGLAS' father is in Qingdao to support his son, while his mother is with his sister at the Optimist North American Championship.

Mattias DEL SOLAR'S (CHI) brother Juan Pablo (JP) is also his coach and accompanies DEL SOLAR to all major regattas. "If he disagrees with me, he normally thinks about it and comes to see it my way," Juan Pablo DEL SOLAR said.

France, Great Britain, Italy, the USA and host nation China are the only teams with a full complement of sailors.
Olympic News Service
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