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Last Updated: Monday, 13 February 2006, 22:00 GMT
Winter Olympics day three review

Rhona Martin
Martin won Olympic gold for Great Britain in 2002
Britain's curling teams enjoyed winning starts to their Olympic campaigns.

Rhona Martin's women began their title defence with a 3-2 victory over Denmark while the men overcame New Zealand 10-5 and Italy 7-5.

Figure skaters Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marin clinched a dramatic pairs title for Russia.

American snowboarder Hannah Teter clinched the half-pipe gold, but British hopes Lesley McKenna and Kate Foster both failed to make the final.

In the ice dancing, the Russians claimed gold but Chinese pair Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao managed to snatch silver despite a nasty fall for Zhang Dan.

Earlier, Russian Svetlana Ishmouratova won the first gold medal of the day - in the the women's 15km individual biathlon.

Joey Cheek of the USA won the 500m speedskating gold medal on Monday.


DAY THREE EVENTS

CURLING

Rhona Martin and her new-look team edged to a 3-2 win over Denmark in a nail-biting opening match in Pinerolo.

The Salt Lake City champion, with only Debbie Knox from her 2002 line-up, took the lead in end two before Denmark levelled in the fifth end.

Great Britain again went ahead in the sixth end, only for Denmark to equalise in the eighth.

In a tense final end, Great Britain held the advantage and a mistake by Danish skip Dorthe Holm handed GB the win.

Britain's men, who are ranked third, beat unfancied Italy 7-5 in their opening match and backed the victory up with a resounding 10-5 win against New Zealand.

Skip David Murdoch's side led the Kiwis 5-1 after picking up four points in the third end.

Despite a brief resurgence from their opponents, the British team held on to take the win with one end left.

Murdoch's side are considered to have a better medal chance than their female colleagues this time round.

Reigning men's champions Norway suffered a shock 11-5 defeat to outsiders America, making their debuts on the big stage.

SNOWBOARD

American Hannah Teter's first run was enough to secure half-pipe gold as countrywoman Gretchen Bleiler hung on to her silver-medal spot after run one.

But fellow American Kelly Clark was ousted from bronze by the second run of Norway's Kjersti Buaas.

Teter, with gold already secured, improved her score from 44.6 points to 46.4, Bleiler edged to 43.4 and Buaas snuck onto the podium with 42.

Clark, the 2002 champion, finished fourth on 38.1.

British boarder Lesley McKenna's hopes of a medal were dashed as she fell on both her qualification runs.

McKenna, from Aviemore in Scotland, was last of the 34 competitors with a score of 1.4 after she stumbled going into the pipe on her first run.

And she fell again during her second routine, earning a mark of just 5.2, only finishing ahead of the injured Japanese rider Melo Imai.

British colleague Kate Foster fared better with 24.7 on her second run, but she also missed out on qualification.

SKATING

In figure skating, world champions Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin continued Russia's dominance of the pairs title with a dazzling free skate performance.

Having established a 3.92-point advantage in Saturday's short programme, Totmianina and Marinin struck gold with a winning combined score of 204.48 points.

But it was tears and heartache for the Chinese as the top contenders Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao of China saw their gold-medal dream shattered with a nasty fall for Zhang Dan.

In an emotional display, the pair eventually soldiered on with a technically brilliant routine and were generously rewarded for their brave efforts with silver, while compatriots Shen Xue Zhao Hongbo came third.

In the men's 500m speed skating, US world sprint champion Joey Cheek clinched gold in a combined two-run time of one minute 9.76 seconds.

Russia's Dmitry Dorofeyev took the silver medal in a total time of 1:10.41. South Korea's Lee Kang-Seok captured the bronze medal in 1:10.43.

LUGE

Defending champion Sylke Otto of Germany set the pace in both of the opening two runs of the women's singles luge competition in Cesana.

The 36-year-old Otto topped the standings with a combined time of one minute 33.861 seconds before Tuesday's final two runs.

Silke Kraushaar, the Olympic champion from 1998, was in second position, 0.268 second back, with fellow German Tatjana Huefner in third place, 0.517 second off the pace.

Crashes have marred the competiton on the demanding course, with Italian Anastasia Oberstolz-Antonova, ranked fourth in the world, hobbling off after a heavy fall.

US luger Samantha Retrosi was also taken to hospital with concussion and short-term memory loss after sliding under her sled for at least two corners.

"It was a bad crash. But the bottom line is that she's going to be OK," said US team leader Fred Zimny.

Ukraine's Natalia Yakushenko, Canada's Alex Gough, Czech slider Marketa Jeriova and Slovakia's Jana Sisajova also crashed.

The Olympics' oldest female competitor, 52-year-old "Grandma Luge" Anne Abernathy, was forced to withdraw after breaking a wrist on Sunday.

BIATHLON

Russian Svetlana Ishmouratova won the women's 15km individual biathlon gold.

Her team-mate Olga Pyleva took silver, while German Martina Glagow claimed the bronze.

Ishmouratova clocked 49 minutes 24.1 seconds, while Britain's Emma Fowler finished in 79th place in 1:03:38.9.

Taunton's Fowler, 26, made history as the first female biathlete to represent Great Britain at an Olympic Games.

She hit all the targets on her first visit to the rifle range but missed seven of the remaining 12 and ended up more than 14 minutes behind the winner.

ICE HOCKEY

In the women's preliminary rounds, 2002 bronze medallists Sweden thrashed hosts Italy 11-0.

Finland - third in 1998 - cruised past Switzerland 4-0 in Monday's other match.




SPORT-BY-SPORT GUIDES
 



Medals Table Sun Feb 26 - 15:22
  G S B
1.Germany11126
2.United States997
3.Austria977
4.Russia868
5.Canada7107
6.Sweden725
7.South Korea632
8.Switzerland545
9.Italy506
10.France324

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