Ainslie and Xu win world sailor of the year awards

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Associated Press

Posted on November 7, 2012 at 6:35 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 7 at 7:32 AM

DUBLIN (AP) — Olympic champions Ben Ainslie of Britain and Xu Lijia of China have been named world sailors of the year.

Ainslie, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, won the world sailor award for the fourth time, pushing himself comfortably ahead of two-time winners Robert Scheidt and Russell Coutts.

Ainslie, the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, says "It is a huge honor to be part of such a group of exceptional sailors who were put forward for this award."

Xu, the laser radial gold-medal winner, becomes the second Asian to win the award, following Hong Kong's Lee Lai Shan in 1996.

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