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Austria cruise to ski jump gold

Austria's Gregor Schlierenzauer

Austria claim ski jump gold (UK users only)

Austria justified their status as favourites with an emphatic 72-point win in the team ski jump competition.

The defending champions won six of the eight sets of jumps across the event to comfortably beat Germany and Norway.

Gregor Schlierenzauer, who took bronze in the Games' two individual events, anchored the team home with jumps of 144.9 and 145.2 points.

Germany's Michael Uhrmann produced a final-jump 143.5 to hold off the challenge on Norway and secure silver.

The Austrian quartet were immediately into their stride with a dominant showing in the first round of the competition.

Wolfgang Loitzl, Andreas Kofler, Thomas Morgenstern scored highest in each of their groups to establish a 26-point over the field.

Schlierenzauer, who finished third in the large and normal hill individual events earlier in the Games, then soared out over 140m to finish ahead of Norway's Anders Jacobsen and Poland's Adam Malysz on the anchor.

The 20-year-old had been beaten by Malysz to silver in each of the individual events, but took revenge with a commanding display.

France, Russia, USA and Canada were eliminated as the focus of attention turned to the battle for silver in the final round.

Norway's Anders Bardal was comfortably beaten by Michael Neumayer as Germany tightened their grip on second place in the opening group.

But after Kofler had blotted the Austrian copybook by finishing fourth in the second group, Martin Schmitt gave the Norwegians a glimmer of hope with a disappointing 106.6 points in the third.

With 7.4 points separating Germany and Norway going into the final round, a strengthening and swirling win adding to the tension.

Jacobsen cranked up the pressure with a score of 145.4, but Uhrmann duly responded to claim second for his team.

Simon Ammann, who clinched gold in the two individual ski jump events, was absent from the team event with Switzerland unable to put together a four-man team.

But his Vancouver victories will not be the last action of the 28-year-old's career as he promises to make a decision on retirement after next year's World Championships.

"The goal is to go to Oslo and take a decision thereafter," said the four-time Olympic champion.



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see also
Live - Winter Olympics Day 11
22 Feb 10 |  Vancouver 2010


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