Sailors compete in showers, wind squalls at Doha

Updated: 2006-12-08 10:34

The sailors and windsurfers who were competing in the sailing races of the 15th Doha Asian Games encountered pouring rain and wind squalls on the open sea of Doha Bay on Thursday, the third day of the sailing competition.

After most of the 14 events finished their first races scheduled for Thursday, it began to rain on the open sea at noon, mixed with cold wind.

"It's very cold, too cold," said women's Mirtral competitor Chan Wei Kei form Hong Kong, China, who finished second in both race four and five on Thursday following first in the first three races.

Rene Appel, Hong Kong, China's Mistral coach, said, "It's been a horrible day of weather, but the results have been good so that makes up for it."

According to weather report presented by the Doha Asian Games Organizing Committee (DAGOC) on its website it rained all the day at Doha with strong showers and sometimes thunderstorms, with the lowest wind speed at 19 km per hour and the highest at 28 km per hour. The gusts speed reached 56 km per hour.

Although it rained heavily in the day, the sailing races ended on Thursday with the most races completed for one single day since the competition kicked off on Tuesday.

In the previous two days, the sailing races lagged behind the schedule due to the lack of wind, with most of the 14 events just finished only one or two races everyday.

On Thursday, all events except Mistral completed three races, making up for postponements due to a lack of wind in the first two days of competition.

Muhamad Mohd Romzi from Malaysia is fast becoming a favorite in the class of Laser Radial Open, leading overall after three good results on Thursday. World champion Xu Lijia from China ranked third overall after three days' competition. Indian sailor Rajesh Choudhary stood second in the class.

Chinese sailor Ni Wei, 15, is dominating the men's Optimist class with two firsts and a second, putting him securely in first place with a three-point lead.

The 2006 Asian Championships gold medallist Tan Rufina Hong Mui from Malaysia moved into first place overall with two seconds and a fourth on Thursday. Her main rival Griselda Khng from Singapore sailed well and trailed Tan by only one point.

Athletes form Hong Kong, China, still led the Mistral fleets. Chan King Yin in the men's Mistral Light won every race in the competition so far. Ho Chi Ho finished with two firsts in the heavy class, one point overall behind Yao Xinhao from China. Chan Wai Kei ranked first with a net points of seven, the same points with China's Chen Lina, who took the two firsts in the women's class.

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