San San aims for strong finish after setback

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 August, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 23 August, 2004, 12:00am

After seeing a promising start ruined by a disqualification in race five, windsurfer Lee Lai-shan knows that only her best performance in today's ninth and 10th races will keep her in the hunt for Olympic glory.

After taking the overall lead and looking to repeat her gold-medal success at the 1996 Atlanta Games, San San suffered a setback when she was disqualified from race five in the women's Mistral event last Thursday.

She dropped to third overall before the seventh and eighth races last Saturday.

The 11th and final race is on Wednesday. Now the pressure is on, and the SAR's queen of the waves cannot afford to make any more mistakes.

Italy's defending Olympic champion Alessandra Sensini is cruising ahead of the pack and will be hard to catch because of her consistency. She has gained a top-five place in the first five races in Athens.

Meanwhile, China's hopes of reaching the quarter-finals of the Olympic basketball tournament rest on the result of their match against reigning world champions Serbia-Montenegro today.

After two defeats before last Saturday's game against Italy, the Chinese are in danger of failing to finish among the top four teams in the six-team Group A who will move on to the last eight.

Giant centre Yao Ming has looked visibly frustrated with his teammates whose shooting has been off-target and their defence lacking intensity.

Serbia-Montenegro have also disappointed. The gold medal contenders dropped to 1-2 (win-loss record) after their defeat to New Zealand last Thursday. They played Spain last Saturday.

In other highlights today, five gold medals will be awarded in artistic gymnastics - the men's vault, parallel bars and horizontal bar, and women's floor exercise and beam.

In table-tennis, the men's singles title will be contested, and gold-medallists will be decided in women's softball.