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Sydney 2000 Olympics

NZ has many sailing contenders, the two best prospects have to be ...BARBARA KENDALL - Mistral sailboard (women)Barbara Kendall (32) is NZ’s most successful female Olympic athlete, winning NZ’s first women’s yachting gold medal in Barcelona in 1992. She followed this up with a silver medal at Atlanta in 1996.She won her first windsurfing world title in 1987 aged 20, but it was another 11 years before she was able to claim her first Olympic class world title. According to her coach Grant Beck, Barbara won the 1998 Mistral World Championships "in impaccable style", simply sailing away from the rest of fleet. Then in 1999, Barbara came back and did the whole thing again in Noumea, winning the 99 world title with a race to spare. Throughout her fifteen year international sailing career, Barbara has established an almost unassailable dominance of women’s Olympic class boardsailing, winning a string of international contests. She has also won the NZ women’s boardsailing national championships for 14 years in a row!She has been named NZ Sportswoman of the Year three times (1996, 1998, 1999) and was the 1999 winner of the New Zealand Olympic Committee’s Lonsdale Cup. AARON McINTOSH - Mistral sailboard (men)Sydney 2000 is an opportunity for NZ’s three time men’s boardsailing world champion Aaron McIntosh (26) to complete some unfinished business. His fourth placing at Atlanta in 1996 has often been touted as a catalyst for Aaron, prompting a determination to take the class by the throat. In the four years since then, Aaron has made it clear that he will be happy with nothing less than gold at Sydney 2000.Since Atlanta, Aaron has won two back to back world titles (1997, 98), most recently finishing 2nd at the 2000 world champs, with a single point between the silver and gold medallist (Olympic champion Nikos Kaklamanakis, Greece). He won his first world title in Montreal 1994 aged 21.Throughout a gruelling four year programme of international competition, training and specialist equipment testing, Aaron has established himself right at the very top of the men’s boardsailing discipline.In earning his place in the NZ Olympic team for the second time, Aaron had to survive the Olympic Selection Trial where he had to the battle of his life to keep ahead his friend and training partner Jon Paul Tobin. Aaron and JP are credited by YNZ Boardsailing coach Grant Beck as being two of the fastest sailors in the world, so it was a fight to the last in what Aaron describes as "the worst week of his life".check out the event details at [WWW=http://www.sailing.org/olympics/]www.sailing.org/olympics [www]

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