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Danes remain on course for Olympic sailing medal
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19:41, August 16, 2008

The Danish pair Jonas Warrer and Martin Kirketerp Ibsen topped the 49er scoreboard of preliminaries in Qingdao on Saturday as a strong podium candidate for the medal race scheduled on Sunday.

The Danes have proved that you can lead the overall fleet without a single win. Their 2nd, 7th and 8th placings in the last three races placed them 1st overall before the medal race.

The crew have been near the top of the standings since Day 1 and have only strayed outside the top five four times among the 12 races, making them the most consistent crew of the 19 entries in the 49er skiff category

Trailing the Danes by 11 points after the discard are brothers Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello from Italy and the 3rd was taken by Nathan Outteridge and Ben Austin, who dropped from the top due to a disappointing 18th in the last race.

"The results from today's races had turned everything upside down. In the third race, we did pretty good up to half way of the first beat. After that, we were on the wrong side of everything. We got ourselves into a hole, and when we tried to get out, we dug ourselves into a deeper hole," said the skipper Outteridge.

"We didn't rate them (Danes) as one of our main competitors," he added. "We started to take notice of them at the end of Day 2. They are a serious threat."

Danish sailing team director Staal, who took charge of the team shortly after Athens 2004, said, "Every team usually has at least one bad day during any regatta but that has not happened to us yet, so we have an excellent chance to medal.

"I can tell they (Warrer/Ibsen) are among the best. I am watching them on the rise of their development curve. They are only 29 and 26 years old respectively. They should be on their way to more medals after these Games."

The Danish sailing team is composed of six sailors competing for five classes of Olympic sailing regatta. Among the nation's 24-time appearance in Olympics, sailing bagged the most gold medals, reaching 11 among the total 39 golds of the country.

Source: Xinhua

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