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First U.S. sailors qualify for Olympics; gold medalist misses on tiebreak

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The first five members of the U.S. Olympic sailing team were finalized this past weekend. The last American sailor to win an Olympic title missed on a tiebreaker.

Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea (49er FX), Anna Weis and Riley Gibbs (Nacra 17) and Charlie Buckingham (Laser) qualified after world championships competition concluded in Australia. The U.S. Olympic roster across all sports is now at 43 qualified athletes.

The closest race for a U.S. Olympic spot came in 49er FX. Roble and Shea edged Paris Henken and 2008 Olympic champion Anna Tobias on a tiebreak. Roble and Shea, both first-time Olympic qualifiers, won Saturday’s medal race and earned an overall bronze medal.

That put the two U.S. duos in a tie in Olympic qualifying — combining placements from the 2019 and 2020 Championships, according to TeamUSA.org. The tiebreak went to Roble and Shea for having the better finish at this year’s worlds.

Tobias, a 37-year-old who won the individual 2008 Olympic Laser Radial as Anna Tunnicliffe, came out of retirement in a bid for a third Olympics. She left competitive sailing in 2014, took up CrossFit competitions and returned to crew for Henken more than two years ago.

“We are very sad and upset,” was posted on Tobias’ Instagram, “but we wish them [Roble and Shea] the best of luck.”

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US Sailing seeks inquiry into capsize that injured Olympian

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SAN DIEGO (AP) U.S. Sailing has asked World Sailing and the Nacra 17 class association to investigate a capsize in which Olympian Bora Gulari of Detroit lost parts of three fingers on his right hand.

Malcolm Page, chief of Olympic sailing, says U.S. Sailing wants to know if the catamarans, which recently were upgraded to allow foiling, can be made safer.

Page also said that he’s asked the Italian sailing team to see a video of the accident.

Gulari told The Associated Press that the capsize happened so fast that he wasn’t sure if the tips of three fingers were severed because his hand was caught in a line that controls the boom or if they were cut by a hydrofoil.

The capsize occurred Wednesday in France as Gulari and crew Helena Scutt practiced for the world championships.

You can read more on the injury here.

Bora Gulari, US Olympic sailor, loses parts of 3 fingers in boat capsize

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LA GRANDE-MOTTE, France (AP) U.S. Sailing says Olympian Bora Gulari of Detroit lost parts of three fingers on his right hand when his catamaran capsized during training for the world championships.

The governing body says Gulari’s fingers became entangled in the rigging of his Nacra 17 when it capsized in strong winds Wednesday.

His crew, Helena Scutt of Kirkland, Washington, wasn’t injured.

Earlier this month, Nacras that had been converted to foiling catamarans were recalled due to a problem with the daggerboards. It wasn’t clear if there was a problem with the daggerboards in Gulari’s capsize.

Italian coach Gabriele Bruni came to the U.S. crew’s rescue, with U.S. coach David Howlett arriving a few minutes later. Scutt, who also is a U.S. Olympian, sailed the boat back to shore with help from Rio 2016 Olympic gold medalist Santiago Lange of Argentina.

Gulari was recovering at a hospital after surgery and is expected to be back sailing in a month.

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