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New Zealand Jewish sailor in medal contention

JTA

August 6, 2012 | 10:54 am

New Zealand's Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie sail during the first race of the women's 470 sailing class at the Olympic Games on Aug. 3. Photo by REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

New Zealand's Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie sail during the first race of the women's 470 sailing class at the Olympic Games on Aug. 3. Photo by REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

New Zealand sailor Jo Aleh is in good position to win her first Olympic medal as her event heads into its final stretch.

Aleh, whose parents Shuki and Daniella Aleh lived in Israel before moving to Auckland, and teammate Olivia Powrie are in second position after six of 10 races in the 470 event. The Kiwis were leading in the early rounds but now trail the British team by a point.

Four rounds remain—two each on Tuesday and Wednesday—followed by a medal race, scheduled for Friday.

Aleh, a former national champion and 2007 world champion, finished seventh at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Her father has flown in from Israel to watch the final rounds and her mother has arrived from New Zealand.

Aleh has two half-siblings who both live in Israel, according to a report in The Forward. After the Olympics, the family is traveling there to celebrate her half-sister’s bat mitzvah.

Aleh says she was inspired to take up sailing after watching the 1995 America’s Cup when New Zealand won sport’s oldest trophy.

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