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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 August, 2004, 11:02 GMT 12:02 UK
Dempsey earns sailing bronze
Nick Dempsey
British windsurfer Nick Dempsey grabbed a bronze medal with his last race in Athens on Wednesday.

Dempsey won the 11th race on the Saronic Gulf to take third behind winner Gal Fridman of Israel and Greece's Nikos Kaklamanakis.

"I sailed the best regatta of my life," said Dempsey. "It was quite a good time to do that."

In the Star, GB are sixth overall after eight races, while GB's Tornado catamaran crew are 13th.

Fridman became Israel's first ever Olympic gold medallist after finishing second in the final Mistral class race.

Dempsey, 24, who is engaged to Athens gold medallist in the Yngling class Sarah Ayton, began the day in fourth place, 10 points behind Kaklamanakis.

For us this is a dream come true
Israeli team boss Gilad Lustig

But as Brazil' s overnight leader Ricardo Santos dropped back to fourth after a 17th place, Dempsey moved onto the podium.

Dempsey, who was 16th in Sydney four years ago, finished on 53 points, one adrift of the 1996 champion Kaklamanakis with Fridman 10 points further ahead.

He added: "I knew it was going to be tough today and the only thing I was thinking about was trying to win the race.

"Initially, when I came across the line I didn't think I'd done it and was actually pretty down. It wasn't until I got in that I found out.

"You always go out to do the best you can and sometimes it's enough."

In the women's Mistral class, France's Faustine Merret won the gold ahead of China's Yin Jian in silver and defending champion Alessandra Sensini of Italy in bronze.

British women's windsurfer Natasha Sturges finished in ninth place overall.

Star sailors Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell posted a 13th in Wednesday's first race and a fifth in race eight for are on 46 points, three points adrift of bronze medal position with three races left.

But the British Tornado crew of Leigh McMillan and Mark Bulkeley are struggling after an eighth and third took them to 13th, 29 points behind third place.

Britain have so far won five sailing medals in Athens to match the total number won in Sydney.





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