QINGDAO, east China, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- China's Yin Jian was crowned champion of RS:X Women at the Olympic Sailing Regatta here on Wednesday, winning her country's first ever Olympic sailing gold.
Yin used her knowledge of local water to the best effect. Despite a fourth and three fifth finishes by the first four marks, Yin Jian collected her composure and stormed back to the third by the finishing line, gaining 39 points overall to claim the title.
A roar went up from the fans lining the viewing wall just outside the venue when they realized Yin had won gold by finishing third in the final medal race after fighting back from fifth and out of contention for the title.
"I didn't think about anything during today's race. I knew that if I kept passing one after another, that victory would be mine," said Yin.
"For an old athlete, competing in this Olympics was hard. I've had many injuries in the past four years. I was able to persevere until now because I wanted to make China proud in the Olympic Games that China is hosting," she said.
Tears in eyes, Jiang Chen, Yin's coach, couldn't hide his excitement. "Today's race is a true reflection of her past 10 days' races. She had a good start but immediately fell behind in the middle and had to catch up one by one. It was difficult but, in the end, she caught up with one after each mark and entered the top three. It was not easy," he said.
"This is the sport that Europeans excel in and they are usually good at making a last push in the final race. So today, Yin relied on herself to deal with surprises. She did it well and took all the important opportunities," he added.
China's sailing team captain Yao Xinpei, who was thrown into water by his excited team members, said Yin Jian's success highlighted the breakthrough of China's sailing. "It showed the improvement of the overall level of Chinese sailing. Yin Jian proved that she was an all-around mature sailor with a burning desire to win. Today's medal race was really classic and it will be definitely recorded into the history of Chinese sailing," he told Xinhua.
At the 2004 Athens Olympics, a small collision with another competitor in the 10th round relegated Yin to a silver medal finish, just two agonizing points shy of a gold medal.
China has already won two Olympic silver medals in windsurfing, with Zhang Xiaodong in Barcelona in 1992 and Yin Jian in Athens in 2004, plus the Laser Radial bronze won by Xu Lijia on Tuesday.
Alessandra Sensini from Italy took the silver medal with 40 points overall and Bryony Shaw from Britain claimed the bronze medal totaling 45 points.