Olympics 1992 Monday 27 July: Penny Way - Boardsailing: Race 1 at 12.15pm

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The Independent Online
Penny Way is not all that she appears to be. She is rather more. Britain's representative on the sailboard looks like a Paris waif, but she is tough and has a track record that is the envy of her rivals. World champion in 1986, 1990 and 1991, she would almost certainly have had an Olympic medal before now were it not for 1992 being the first Games in which a women's boardsailing has been included.

At least she has had good notice of when to reach an Olympic peak of fitness and aggression. Selection as long ago as May 1991 has allowed her to focus on the Games themselves, rather than winning her place. She has also been able to clear up some niggling elbow strains and adjust gradually to what she hopes will be her best fighting weight. She has always excelled in lighter rather than stronger breezes, and as Barcelona is predicted to be a light air venue, it would be surprising if she were over 8st. If the wind picks up she could find herself losing out to a heavier rival.

Way knows she is still learning how to squeeze more speed out of her sailboard. 'That's why I find it such a special sport to be involved in,' she says. 'You can improve every day.'

Her name is not in fact Penny. 'My little brother couldn't manage Helen when he was learning to talk so he called me Henny-Penny and the Penny stuck.'

(Photograph omitted)

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