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Olympic report

Tue., Feb. 16, 2010

Pairs Figure Skating Chinese pair Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo finally won the Olympic gold medal that eluded them for so many years Monday night.Their score of 216.57 points was more than three points ahead of teammates Pang Qing and Tong Jian. Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany dropped to the bronze medal after a flawed free skate. The gold is the first in figure skating for China. This is also the first time since 1960 that a Russian or Soviet couple isn’t atop the Olympic podium. Equally stunning, the Russians are leaving with no medals of any color. Shen and Zhao, bronze medalists at the last two Olympics, retired after winning their third world title in 2007. For the Americans, it was their worst showing in pairs. Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig were 10th and U.S. champions Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett were 13th.

Men’s downhill Switzerland’s Didier Defago of Switzerland flew to his first gold medal, becoming the oldest man to win the Olympic downhill and the first Swiss man to win an Olympic medal since 1988. Defago edged out Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal by 0.07 seconds and American Bode Miller by 0.09 seconds. Miller becomes the first American to win three medals in Alpine skiing at the Olympics. Snowboardcross The United States’ Seth Wescott crossed the finish line ahead of Canada’s Mike Robertson to claim a second-straight snowboardcross gold medal. Tony Ramoin of France won the bronze. American Nate Holland, a five-time Winter X Games champ, spun out early in the final foursome.

X-country skiing Switzerland’s Dario Cologna collapsed across the finish line after winning the men’s 15-kilometer freestyle cross-country race. Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla led from start to finish to win the women’s 10-kilometer freestyle race. In the men’s race, Italian Pietro Piller Cottrer won the silver and Lukas Bauer of the Czech Republic took bronze. In the women’s event, Kristina Smigun-Vaehi of Estonia took silver and Marit Bjoergen of Norway got the bronze.

Speedskating Problems with ice-resurfacing forced an hour delay during the men’s 500 meters. Mo Tae-bum of South Korea won gold following the delay, and Japan took the next two spots with Keiichiro Nagashima claiming silver and Joji Kato the bronze. American Shani Davis finished 18th in the first race, then withdrew, skipping the second heat to save energy for the 1,000 on Wednesday night. He’s the defending champion and the world record-holder at that distance. Tucker Fredricks was the top American, finishing 12th.

Women’s Luge Reigning world champion Erin Hamlin of the United States came out of the first two runs in 15th place. Germany’s Tatjana Huefner is the leader so far with a track record time of 41.481 seconds. Austrian Nina Reithmayer finished the day in second, and German Natalie Geisenberger third.

Women’s hockey Canada routed Switzerland 10-1 behind two goals from Meghan Agosta. The reigning gold medalists outshot the Swiss 62-12 and have won their first two games by a total of 28-1. Sweden ousted Slovakia 6-2 through a Pernilla Winberg hat trick.

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