Olympic report

MONDAY, FEB. 22, 2010

Speedskating The Netherlands’ Ireen Wust stunned the home team by winning a gold medal in the women’s 1,500 meters. Canada’s Christine Nesbitt, who took gold in the 1,000, had hoped to add another Olympic win in the 1,500 Sunday. She was slightly ahead of Wust’s pace heading into the final lap but couldn’t match the blistering last trip around the oval produced by the Dutch skater.

Alpine skiing Switzerland’s Michael Schmid won the gold medal in the Olympic debut of skicross, defeating Austria’s Andreas Matt in the final. Schmid, the World Cup leader this season, took a big lead early in medal race and made it to the finish line without any contact. Norway’s Audun Groenvold won the bronze over Canada’s Chris Del Bosco, who fell on the next-to-last jump.

•Russian Evgeny Ustyugov finally earned a medal at the Vancouver Games, winning the men’s 15-kilometer mass start biathlon race. Ustyugov shot cleanly to finish in 35 minutes, 35.7 seconds, beating Martin Fourcade of France by 10.5 seconds. Pavol Hurajt of Slovakia won the bronze, finishing 16.6 seconds behind Ustyugov.

•German Magdalena Neuner won the women’s 12.5-kilometer mass start biathlon race for her second gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics. Neuner pulled away from her rivals after the final shooting to finish in 35 minutes, 19.6 seconds. Olga Zaitseva of Russia took the silver medal after finishing 5.5 seconds behind. Simone Hauswald of Germany won bronze, 7.3 seconds back. Neuner won the 10K pursuit on Tuesday and also took silver in the 7.5K sprint.

Curling Scottish skip David Murdoch’s British team handed the United States foursome a 4-2 loss, dropping the Americans to 2-5 and practically assuring their elimination from semifinal contention. Murdoch’s world champion team is 4-3. It bounced back from a tough loss to Canada a night earlier and pulled out a big win to boost its playoff chances. Murdoch scored a go-ahead deuce in the fifth before stealing one in the sixth when Jason Smith had last stone.

•The Canadian women’s curlers made quick work of the U.S. team, winning 9-2 in a shortened seven-end match to stay unbeaten. Cheryl Bernard scored four points in the third end after the Americans had gone ahead with one in the second. The Canadians (5-0) left three stones in scoring position before Bernard’s final offering was spot-on. That after also taking out a U.S. stone. Bernard shook her head in delight when she nailed her shot in the third, yet another big one for the veteran Canadian captain.

Figure skating Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have put the host country in position for its first Olympic ice dance gold medal by winning the original dance. Their spicy flamenco earned 68.41 points and perhaps the loudest cheers the Pacific Coliseum has heard during the Vancouver Games. They lead American champions Meryl Davis and Charlie Scott by 2.60 points, with world champions Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin of Russia almost two points further behind. The 2006 Olympic silver medalists, Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, remain fourth.

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