Spanish sailors pray for Olympic winds

July 25th, 2008 - 3:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Madrid, July 25 (Xinhua) Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez, who won Olympic gold in Athens four years ago in the 49er class, said Thursday that they aim to do the same in China, but with a little help from the elements. Martinez and Fernandez are ranked number one in the world and are hot favourites to defend their Athens gold.

“We are travelling as world leaders and as our coach says, we have been invited to the dance, so let’s dance!” said Martinez.

However, other members of the Spanish sailing team see a possible problem with the Olympic venue at Qingdao.

“The statistics from the past few years show that the prediction is for light winds and that could affect the competition,” said another Spaniard Fernando Echavarri, who will race in the Tornado class.

Nevertheless, Echavarri saw ground for hope, thanks to the recent weather changes in the region.

“In the last few days, a cyclone affected China. Part of it affected Qingdao and that formed waves. We don’t know if that will happen or not during the Olympics, but I really hopes it happens again,” he said.

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