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Finnish sailors in the running for medals

Finns turned in promising performances in steeplechase and sailing on Friday -- and in rally driving at home.

Jari-Matti Latvala katsoo vasemmalle.
Jari-Matti Latvala Image: Yle

As the athletics events began at the Summer Olympics on Friday, Finland's Jukka Keskisalo placed fourth in the men's 3,000 metres steeplechase, earning a berth in Sunday's final.

Finnish athletes also participated in hammer throw and 1500-metre track events as well as equestrian dressage. The Finnish swimmers wrapped up their competitions on Friday without making it into a single semi-final.

Full speed ahead for sailors

The brightest sport in the Games for the Finns so far is sailing After a rough start in the men's 49er class sailing, Kalle Bask and Lauri Lehtinen have surged up to third place in the standings between pairs from Australia and New Zealand. In the men's Finn class standings, Tapio Nirkko is in seventh place.

In women's Laser Radial opening series, Sari Multala came in second and third in Friday's races, putting her in sixth place overall so far.

Finns challenge Loeb at Rally of Finland

Meanwhile back in Jyväskylä, French Citroën driver Sebastien Loeb narrowly led the way at the Rally of Finland.

Close on the eight-time world champion's heels on Friday evening were Finns in second and third place. Loeb's Citroën teammate Mikko Hirvonen was five seconds behind him, while Ford racer Jari-Matti Latvala was 20 seconds behind Loeb.

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