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Rediff.com  » Sports » Winter Olympics: Canada win second gold, weather plays havoc

Winter Olympics: Canada win second gold, weather plays havoc

Last updated on: February 17, 2010 13:07 IST

Snowboarder Ricker gives Canada second gold

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Snowboarder Maelle Ricker won Canada's second Olympic gold medal and a first for its women on home soil on Tuesday by carving her way through a rain-soaked cross course where wipe-outs were the order of the day.

Host country Canada very much needed a second medal to avoid falling into the 'one-medal wonder' category.

Mogul skier Alexandre Bilodeau won Canada's first gold medal ever in a home Olympics on Sunday.

Ricker's win on the hills above her native Vancouver was sweet revenge for her compatriot.

"I'm so overwhelmed, I can't even believe it," Ricker said after winning before a wildly happy Canadian crowd.

"The way my day started ... and the way it all went through."

She had fallen in her opening qualifier but took the opportunity on her second run to progress.


Image: Canada's Maelle Ricker celebrates after winning the gold medal in the women's snowboard cross
Photographs: Reuters
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Timing errors affect biathlon programme

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Ricker's triumph was one of the few bright spots for Winter Games host Canada, coming under increasing fire for handling of weather-wracked events and equipment mishaps like unreliable ice resurfacing machines.

Malfunctions affected athletes, fans and maybe even medals.

Stunning gold medal displays by Magdalena Neuner and Bjorn Ferry in Tuesday's Olympics biathlon programme were overshadowed by timing errors which prompted the sport's technical delegate to lament his 'blackest day'.

Three skiers in the women's 10km pursuit were held back in error while two athletes in the men's 12.5km pursuit were sent out too early. In each case, the times were later adjusted.

The most contentious mistake affected Swede Anna Carin Olofsson-Zidek, who was delayed by 14 seconds at the starting gate before crossing the finish line in fifth place and finished fourth in the women's event, just one spot off the podium, after a strong performance.

All this drama overshadowed the biathlon gold medallists, Germany's Neuner and Sweden's Bjorn Ferry.


Image: Sweden's Anna Carin Olofsson-Zidek skis during the women's 10 km pursuit biathlon final

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Freestyle and snowboard spectators refunded

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More fog and snow up at Whistler mountain forced the postponement of the men's super combined slalom until Sunday and a whole reshuffling in the men's Alpine skiing events.

On Cypress Mountain, the lightning rod for weather-related complaints after the warmest January on record, more than a dozen women snowboarders' careened off a course likened to "mashed potatoes" by American favourite Lindsey Jacobellis. She fell and failed to make it into the finals.

While Vancouver Games organisers said there was little they could do about the weather, they still faced a barrage of questions over mishaps, including the death of a Georgian luger in a horrific training crash on Friday.

Adding to their woes, organisers refunded tickets for 28,000 standing freestyle and snowboard spectators worth C$1.4 million (850,000 pounds) due to unstable ground.


Image: Lindsey Jacobellis of the US competes during the women's snowboard cross semifinals

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South Korean edges world champion for skating glory

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In women's speed skating 500 metres, South Korea's Lee Sang-hwa edged out world champion Jenny Wolf of Germany, while Tatjana Huefner of Germany triumphed in the women's luge,

Those medals put South Korea and Germany at the top of the medals table with Switzerland at three golds apiece, while United States, France, Sweden and Canada all have two golds.


Image: Lee Sang-Hwa of South Korea (right) and Wolf of Germany compete in the women's 500 metres speed skating race

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Miller helps US to win over Switzerland

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The ice hockey competition, in which Canada is a favourite to take gold, started to heat up, and not only because of what was happening in the rink.

The International Olympic Committee told US goalkeeper Ryan Miller to take "Miller Time" off his mask since it is a popular beer slogan.

Miller moved past the controversy and helped his team to a 3-1 win over Switzerland. Canada beat Norway 8-0.


Image: US goalie Ryan Miller blocks a shot from Switzerland's Julien Sprunger during their men's ice hockey game

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