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Surprise: Brazil wins Star gold

Already the best on the beach, Brazil has now struck gold off shore.

"It was a great relief to win after our poor performance in Barcelona," Torben Grael said Monday after he and Marcello Ferreira won the Olympic gold medal in Star class yachting.

Grael, who has one title and five other top five finishes in the world championships since 1990, finished only 11th in the 1992 Games.

The unexpected gold medal came two days after Brazilian teams took the gold and silver medals in women's beach volleyball.

Also Monday, Nikolaos Kaklamanakis of Greece added an Olympic gold medal to his world championship in the men's Mistral. Mike Gebhardt of Fort Pierce was sixth.

The United States and Canada were favored to win in the Star class. But defending Olympic champions Mark Reynolds of San Diego and Hal Haenel of Los Angeles finished eighth and Canada's Ross MacDonald and Eric Jespersen were 14th.

Americans remain in contention for medals in several other classes. The gold medal in Tornado was clinched by Spain's Jose Luis Ballester and Fernando Leon, so today's final will be a scramble for silver and bronze among Americans John Lovell of New Orleans and Charlie Ogletree of Texas, plus Australia, France, Brazil and Italy.

The California-based Soling team of Jeff Madrigali, Jim Barton and Kent Massey claimed one of two byes for the match-race competition with one victory and a discarded 12th-place finish.

In the women's 470 double-handed dinghy class, Kris Stookey of Darien, Conn., and Louise Van Voorhis of Webster, N.Y., were second Monday and stood in second overall with three races to go.