San San retains lead in light winds

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 October, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 October, 2002, 12:00am

A tough day awaits Lee Lai-shan today. Only one race was completed in the women's mistral event due to a lack of wind, forcing organisers to re-schedule the 11-race regatta by adding on an extra race today.

With wind conditions extremely light, San San struggled a bit but still managed to finish the third race in the series in second place behind China's Yin Jian. Despite yesterday's result, San San retains the overall lead thanks to her two first-place finishes on Thursday.

'We would have preferred to have had both races today as San San was sailing well. With the extra race added on tomorrow, it will be strenuous on all the competitors. They will have no rest as the races will be held back to back,' said coach Rene Appel.

That is, of course, if the wind picks up in the Bay of Pusan. Yesterday the entire fleet had to wait two hours on shore for favourable conditions. At the first puff of wind, organisers decided to get the competitors ready as the start point is quite some distance off-shore. The first race of the day had just been completed when the winds died down, forcing everyone back to shore.

'San San was leading for most of the way, but was overtaken by the Chinese girl after the first mark. But it is still not a bad result. She is looking good,' added Appel.

Winner of the gold medal in this class four years ago at the Bangkok Games, the 32-year-old San San is regarded as the outright favourite to win again. She currently has four points, courtesy of her 1-1-2 finishes in the three races held so far. In joint-second place are China's Yin and Japan's Masako Imai on eight points. Only six sailors are competing in the women's windsurfing event.

In the men's mistral event, Ho Chi-ho finished race three in second place behind China's Zhou Yuanguo. In the overall standings, Zhou has accumulated seven points while former world junior champion Ho is on eight. In third place, a point behind, is Japan's Ikao Inoue. Thai Arun Homraruen is fourth.

'Ho was also in a similar position to San San before the Chinese overtook him late in the race. But he is well-placed at the moment,' said Appel. Ho has two second places and a fourth-place finish to his name so far.

Teenager Chan King-yun made up for a disappointing fifth finish in the second race on Thursday by coming in third in the men's light raceboard event. South Korean Ok Duck-pil leads the standings in the event and is six points ahead of Chan who is in joint-third place.

Hong Kong's Nelson Tang Luen-chun continued to struggle in the men's heavy raceboard category, coming in fifth for the third time in the five-strong field.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's youngest competitor at the Games, 13-year-old Yu Chi-lok, came in ninth (out of 11) in the boy's optimist category. Yu has had an 11-8-9 finish so far and is sitting in 10th overall.