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17 August 2008, 11:01 pm
SENSINI Battles Back As Windsurfers Put On Spectacular Show
Alessandra Sensini of Italy
Alessandra Sensini of Italy is closing in on the Chinese leader

2008 Beijing Olympic Games
Qingdao, China

World Champion and triple Olympic medallist Alessandra SENSINI of Italy seized her opportunity to close the gap on Chinese leader Jian YIN in two adrenaline-pumping, heavy-air races held in the Women's RS:X fleet on Sunday.
However, Jian YIN (CHN), competition leader since day one, put her fellow competitors on notice with her strong performance in race 7, sailed in heavy conditions on the Yellow Sea today. YIN, who hales from Qingdao, is known for her light weather performance, but she proved she can handle the big breeze and seas, finishing seventh in race 7.

Despite her dip to 13th in race 6, the Chinese sailboarder continues to lead overall, and is seven points clear of three-time Olympic medallist Alessandra SENSINI (ITA), who has taken second place overall.

SENSINI is renowned for her skill in heavier winds and prefers it to the lighter breeze races. She forced Jessica CRISP (AUS) into third place. The Australian is not at her most comfortable in heavier conditions, weighing in at just over 50kg.

The top performer on the day was 2007 World Champion Zofia KLEPACKA of Poland with a first and a second place. However several scores in the teens in the light wind races earlier in the Opening Series mean she still has a long way to go to pull herself back into contention.

The world #1, Marina ALABAU (ESP), slipped from third to fourth overall following her worst day, after finishing 11th and eighth - but she is only two points behind CRISP.

Barbara KENDALL (NZL) has knocked Bryony SHAW (GBR) out of fifth place into sixth, into what is shaping to be a battle of the six pre-OIympic medal favourites, with no one sailor in particular fancied for gold.

Race Officials have rescheduled the final three races of the Opening Series for tomorrow starting from 11:00 hours. Breezy conditions are expected, especially in the races held earlier in the morning so SENSINI will be looking to make the most of her opportunity to further close the seven-point lead currently held by YIN.

Overall Results - click here

ISAF (source: Olympic News Service)
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