Britain's Ben Ainslie and Lijia Xu of China were named the male and female winners of the 2012 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards at a ceremony held at the Mansion House, Dublin, Ireland Tuesday evening.
It is the fourth time that Ainslie has been named ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, following titles gained in 1998, 2002 and 2008. Ainslie is the most successful Olympic sailor of all time. The 35-year old’s achievement at London 2012 elevated him to five Olympic medals (four gold, one silver), surpassing Rolex Testimonee Paul Elvstrøm (DEN), winner of four gold medals between 1948 and 1960.
Lijia Xu, Laser Radial Gold Medallist at London 2012, expressed her delight at becoming only the second Asian athlete to be crowned ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year and spoke of her passion for the sport. In August, Xu became the first Chinese, and indeed Asian, sailor to win an Olympic Gold medal in a dinghy sailing boat.
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7 November 2012 6:12