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Newz Forum: OLYMPICS: Cancer survivor Hall finishes 11th in first Olympic race

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posted on Aug, 14 2004 @ 11:38 AM
ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Cancer survivor Kevin Hall, who needed clearance to sail in the Olympics because of his required testosterone injections, finished 11th in a fleet of 25 Finns in his Summer Games debut on Saturday.

Hall, of Bowie, Md., might have finished in the top five if not for one bad leg on the relatively tame Saronic Gulf. Seventh at the first mark, he picked a bad lane and got gassed all the way through the next leg as the fleet sailed across the wind, and he dropped to 14th at the next buoy.

Hall, an America's Cup veteran, has been sailing the Finn just more than a year. Although he dominated the winner-take-all U.S. Olympic trials in February, he then faced a frustrating five months of red tape as he sought a therapeutic use exemption for his testosterone use.

Because his testicles were removed during his three-year fight against cancer, he needs weekly injections of the drug, which is on the IOC's banned list. He finally received clearance on July 7.

Two other U.S. crews got off to great starts.

Paul Foerster of Rockwall, Texas, and Kevin Burnham of Miami won the opening race in the 470 class. Both are previous silver medalists, with Foerster winning in the 470 at Syndey and in the Flying Dutchman at Barcelona. Burnham won silver in 1992 in the 470.

Skipper Carol Cronin of Jamestown, R.I., was second in the Yngling class, which made its Olympic debut. Cronin and her crew, Nancy Haberland of Annapolis, Md., and Liz Filter of Stevensville, Md., are in their first Olympics.

The U.S. women's 470 crew of Katie McDowell of Barrington, R.I., and Isabelle Kinsolving of New York, were 13th.

Overall, it was a far better start than in 1896, when the sailing regatta in the first modern Olympics, also in Athens, was blown out by bad weather.

With the Parthenon visible in the distance through the haze, Greece's Aimilios Papathanasiou led the first Finn race start to finish. New Zealand's Dean Barker was fifth and Great Britain's Ben Ainslie, the overwhelming favorite, was a surprising ninth. Barker was at the helm of Team New Zealand's hard-luck boat when it lost the America's Cup to Switzerland's Alinghi in 2003.

The Finns, Ynglings and 470s each sailed a second race Saturday.

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