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New Zealand's Ashley, China's Yin win sailing gold

Qingdao, China (Sports Network) - Sailing gold medals went to Tom Ashley of New Zealand and Yin Jian of China following the final races of the men's and women's RS:X events on Wednesday.

Ashley finished third in the medal race, giving him six points for the day and 52 points overall for the gold medal.

France's Julien Bontemps had the lead going into the final day, but he placed fourth in the medal race for eight points -- taking him one point above Ashley for the silver.

The points system is based on athletes' finishes in each of the races. Better finishes garner lower points -- so the fewer, the better as far as placement goes.

Shahar Zubari claimed the bronze medal for Israel after taking second place in the medal race. Nick Dempsey of Great Britain finished two points out of medal contention in fourth place.

The only U.S. competitor, Benjamin Barger, placed 26th overall.

On the women's side, Yin protected her lead with a third place finish in the medal race for six points. She finished the competition with 39 points for the gold medal, one fewer than Alessandra Sensini of Italy.

Sensini won the medal race for two points, taking the silver medal at 40 overall. Great Britain's Bryony Shaw took the bronze medal after finishing second in the medal race.

It was the first-ever sailing gold medal for the Chinese.

"I am responsible for making a breakthrough in sailing for the Chinese," said Yin. "At the beginning of the regatta, things weren't going very well for me. But I was mentally prepared for such events and I would not give up until the very end."

The final two medal races in sailing are set for Thursday in the Tornado and Star classes. Fernando Echavarri and Anton Paz have the lead in the Tornado fleet, just three points more than the Australian tandem of Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby.

The Star event is even closer with the Swedish team of Fredrik Loof and Anders Ekstrom holding a two-point edge on Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson of Great Britain.

08/20 07:03:22 ET