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China's Xu Lijia sails to top three before medal race in Olympic Laser
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19:29, August 18, 2008

China's medal hope Xu Lijia set her pace to possibly take China's first Olympic sailing gold by moving from 4th to 3rd in the Laser standing before the medal race slated on Tuesday.

Xu Lijia put her fellow competitors on notice with her strong performance in the first preliminary race on Monday. She finished 4th in the first three marks and rebounded to 1st by the fourth mark.

The finishing line saw a speedy Xu top the fleet, cutting a 20-second lead over Katarzyna Szotynska from Poland.

The following 11th and 6th finishes in Race 8 and Race 9 respectively won her 44 points overall after nine races, placing Xu 3rd overall, behind Anna Tunnicliffe from the United States and Gintare Volungeviciute from Lithuania.

Xu quietly made her way to be the top three of the leader board. After the discard of the 24th finish in the opening race, only two races results on her leader board remained double digit.

Meanwhile, China's light-wind specialist Yin Jian of RS:X Women, dropped her leading position since day one to the 2nd, due to both 8th finishes in today's two races, cutting a two-point margin behind Alessandra Sensini from Italy.

After the three Tornado class races, Spaniards Fernando Echavarri and Anton Paz were tied at 20 points with Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby from Australia in the overall lead.

Fredrik Loof and Anders Ekstrom from Sweden won Race 6 on Monday to take the regatta lead. Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson from Britain got 11 points in Monday's racing moving them into 2nd place.

Source: Xinhua

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1 China 37 14 14 65
2 USA 19 22 25 66
3 Australia 11 10 12 33
4 Great Britain 11 7 8 26
5 Germany 9 6 7 22
6 South Korea 8 9 5 22

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