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Monday, February 16, 1998 Published at 06:32 GMT

Sport: Winter Olympics 98: Alpine Skiing

Katja hurtles into the record books
image: [ Katja Seizinger (centre): In the record books ]
Katja Seizinger (centre): In the record books

Germany's Katja Seizinger made Olympic history when she became the first person to win consecutive Olympic downhill gold medals.

Following on from her success in Lillehammer four years ago, Seizinger whipped down the Nagano course in a gold medal winning 1:28.89secs, writing her name into the Olympic record books.

Until now, no competitor had successfully defended an Olympic downhill title.

[ image: Pernilla Wiberg took silver]
Pernilla Wiberg took silver
Seizinger has totally dominated the World Cup season and used the confidence of recent victories to help edge out Swedish veteran Pernilla Wiberg by a third of a second.

France's Florence Masnada, who will retire after this season, clocked 1:29.37 to take bronze.

America's Picabo Street, who won the Super-G last week, finished sixth, 0.65 of a second behind the winner.

There was light fog along the upper part of the course until just before the race. But the finish area was bathed in sunshine, the first seen by the course since last Wednesday.

[ image: Florence Masnada took bronze for France]
Florence Masnada took bronze for France
Seizinger, an economics student who learned to ski during vacations with her family in France, was sixth in the Super-G last week and said she thought she had come up short again.

"It was very slippery and bumpy. When I came to the finish line, I didn't expect or hope that it would be enough," she said.

"It's quite a different feeling from Lillehammer because this was unexpected."

Final Results

  • Katja Seizinger, Germany, 1:28.29secs
  • Pernilla Wiberg, Sweden, 1:29.18
  • Florence Masnada, France, 1:29.37
  • Melanie Suchet, France, 1:29.48
  • Svetlana Gladishiva, Russia, 1:29.50
  • Picabo Street, United States, 1:29.54
  • Regine Cavagnoud, France, 1:29.72
  • Alexandra Meissnitzer, Austria, 1:29.84
  • Katharina Gutensohn, Germany, 1:29.96
  • Hilde Gerg, Germany, 1:29.96
  • Ingeborg Marken, Norway, 1:30.19
  • Heidi Zurbriggen, Switzerland, 1:30.25
  • Varvara Zelenskaja, Russia, 1:30.38
  • Carole Montillet, France, 1:30.65
  • Stefanie Schuster, Austria, 1:30.73


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