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At midpoint, U.S. hopes at half mast

Time is running out on the U.S. yachting team.

The Americans, who medaled in nine of 10 classes four years ago, have been shut out through five events. And they can't win anything in one of the remaining five _ Lasers.

One U.S. team blew a golden chance Tuesday. John Lovell of New Orleans and Charlie Ogletree of Kemah, Texas, led France by a point for third entering the final day of the Tornado class.

But they stumbled to eighth by finishing 10th and 12th in the final two races. "We had a bad start, and it was downhill from there," Lovell said.

Fernando Leon and Jose Luis Ballester of Spain clinched the gold Monday and decided to sit out the final. The silver went to Mitch Booth and Andrew Landenberger of Australia and the bronze to Lars Grael and Kiko Pellicano of Brazil.

In the women's 470s, Kris Stookey of Darien, Conn., and Louise Van Voorhis of Webster, N.Y., are tied for third with Ukraine heading into the last race Thursday.

In the men's 470s, Morgan Reeser of Wilton Manors, Fla., and Kevin Burnham of Coral Gables almost blew it with a premature start in the first race. They came back to win the second, leaving them fifth overall, but they'll need a collapse by Britain, Portugal and Russia to medal. Yevhin Braslavets and Ihor Matviyenko of Ukraine clinched the gold, despite finishes of 10th and eighth.

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