Victorious Lee 'must improve'

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 January, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 January, 2000, 12:00am

Hong Kong coach Rene Appel said Lee Lai-shan needed some fine-tuning before next month's World Championships despite easily wrapping up the women's title at the South American Championships in Mar del Plata, Argentina.

It was a mere formality for Hong Kong's San San, who had another good day of sailing to clinch the title, but Appel said the Olympic champion still needed to improve on certain areas.

'She needs to improve on things like board speed in the rough conditions. She also needs to improve on starts and board handling in general. We have two weeks to work on that before the World Championships kick off [at the same venue],' said Appel, who helped San San lift the Olympic title in Atlanta in 1996.

'San San won the women's competition quite handily. It wasn't quite the competition we had wanted because there were only seven female competitors.

'Nevertheless, it was good experience for her and it has given her a good feel of what to expect in the World Championships.

'It also gave us the chance to evaluate our performances with the World Championships coming up.' Racing with the men, San San finished 14th and 22nd in her remaining two races to finish a respectable 22nd position overall.

Competing in 12-knot southeasterly winds, San San finished behind husband Wong Tak-sum, who was 14th overall following 11th and 12th placings.

Israel's Amit Inbar was the convincing overall men's champion with nine penalty points.

He finished ahead of Argentina's Carlos Espinola, who was 27 penalty points behind. Ricardo Santos of Brazil took third place on 39 penalty points.

Hong Kong's world youth champion, Ho Chi-ho, finished 13th and 16th, to take 17th place overall, while Chan King-yin was 25th overall.