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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 February 2006, 22:14 GMT
Winter Olympics day five review

GB men's curling skip David Murdoch
Murdoch's GB side suffered their first defeat but recovered to beat Norway
Great Britain's men's curlers recovered from an earlier defeat to beat reigning Olympic champions Norway 6-3 in their second match of the day.

David Murdoch's team lost 9-5 to Canada earlier on Wednesday, while the GB women's curling team also had their first loss with defeat against Sweden.

Austria's Michaela Dorfmeister won the women's downhill gold in San Sicario, with Britain's Chemmy Alcott in 11th.

Dale Begg-Smith took gold with a superb display in the men's freestyle skiing.

Elsewhere, 20-year-old Wang Meng won the women's 500m short-track title to seal China's first gold medal of the Games.

And in the luge, Austrian brothers Andreas and Wolfgang Linger won gold on the treacherous Cesana track which saw numerous crashes and injuries throughout the day.

The second round of jumps in the Nordic combined team event was postponed until Thursday because of high winds.


DAY FIVE EVENTS

ALPINE SKIING

Austria's Michaela Dorfmeister won the women's Olympic downhill gold from Switzerland's Martina Schild and Sweden's Anja Paerson in San Sicario.

Veteran Dorfmeister, 32, a former world champion who will retire next month, clocked one minute 56.49 seconds to hold off Schild by 0.37 seconds.

Chemmy Alcott, starting 14th, raced into second place temporarily and finished 11th overall, the best result in downhill from a British woman since Felicity Field came sixth in Grenoble in 1968.

World downhill champion Janica Kostelic of Croatia, who is aiming to add to her triple gold medal haul from Salt Lake City, withdrew from the race with an irregular heartbeat.

Defending Olympic champion Carole Montillet-Carles of France finished well off the pace after suffering a bad crash in training on Monday.

American Lindsey Kildow, who was airlifted to Turin after a heavy fall on Monday, finished eighth.

CURLING

Britain's men's team, led by skip David Murdoch, beat reigning Olympic champions Norway 6-3 in their second match of the day.

A closely-fought game turned in the ninth end when a poor last stone from Norway skipper Paal Trulsen allowed Britain to take two shots and Murdoch's side held on for an impressive win.

Earlier, they lost 9-5 to world champions Canada to relinquish their unbeaten record after three matches.

In other action on Wednesday morning, Norway beat Sweden 9-4 and Finland won 7-5 against New Zealand.

And in the later matches, hosts Italy beat the US 6-5, while Canada saw off Switzerland 7-5.

Great Britain's women curlers suffered their first hiccup in the defence of their Olympic title with an 8-6 defeat to Sweden.

Rhona Martin's team beat the Swedes 6-4 to reach the semi-finals four years ago before eventually going on to seal Britain's first Winter Games gold since 1984.

In other action, Norway beat Japan 9-4, USA triumphed 8-3 against Denmark and Italy won 6-4 against Russia.

Norway lead the table with Sweden, Switzerland, Britain and Canada tied on second.

The top four in the 10-team section go through to the medal round.

SKATING

In speed skating, Wang Meng kept the women's 500m short-track title in Chinese hands, succeeding compatriot Yang Yang and winning China's first gold in Turin.

Meng took gold in a time of 44.345 seconds ahead of Bulgaria's Evgenia Radanova - who won her second successive silver medal - and Anouk Leblanc-Boucher of Canada.

Britain's sole representative, Sarah Lindsay, advanced to the semi-finals despite finishing nearly 25 seconds after Wang in the quarter-finals.

Lindsay went through after being taken out on the final corner by South Korea's Yun-Mi Kang who was disqualified.

But there was no reprieve in the semis as she finished fifth of five.

In the men's 1000m heats, Britons Jon Eley and Paul Stanley both failed to qualify after finishing third and fourth in their respective heats.

Meanwhile, the semi-finals of the inaugural men's team pursuit event will line up with Italy v Netherlands and Norway v Canada.

Italy's shock quarter-final win over the US ended Chad Hedrick's hopes of five gold medals.

In the women's event, Thursday's semi-finals will see Canada face Japan and Russia take on Germany after all four qualified from the quarters.

And in the men's 5,000m relay semi-finals South Korea and defending champions Canada eased through to the final along with the US, China and Italy.

Italy qualify after they were taken out by Japan, who were subsequently disqualified.

FREESTYLE SKIING

At Sauze d'Oulx, Australian favourite Dale Begg-Smith took the gold medal with a superb performance in the men's moguls final.

Finland's Mikko Ronkainen took the silver while the bronze went to Toby Dawson of the United States.

Begg-Smith's score of 26.77 edged him ahead of Ronkainen's 26.62 and Dawson's 26.30.

NORDIC COMBINED

The Olympic Nordic combined team event was postponed because of high winds and will resume on Thursday.

The athletes had all completed their first jumps and were preparing for their second when the wind picked up at Pragelato, high in the Italian Alps.

Contrary to earlier statements that the competition will start afresh, organisers have said that the event will resume where it left off.

World champions Norway were hoping they could rejoin the event after pulling out with three sick athletes on Wednesday.

Germany (Jens Gaiser, Bjoern Kircheisen, Ronny Ackermann, Georg Hettich) led on 464.5 points after round one of the ski jumping.

Austria were second with 453.4 points with Russia third (450.1) and defending champions Finland in fourth.

The team event involves two jumps on the large hill, followed by a 4 x 5km relay on cross-country course a few hours later.

OTHER SPORTS

In the luge, Austrian brothers Andreas and Wolfgang Linger won gold on the treacherous Cesana track.

The 2003 world champions clocked the fastest time, with Andre Florschuetz and Torsten Wustlich of Germany taking the silver and Gerhard Plankensteiner and Oswald Haselrieder of Italy in bronze.

The course proved to be a real problem for the riders, with a series of crashes and injuries throughout the day.

In ice hockey, the men's preliminaries got under way with Kazakhstan losing 2-7 to Sweden, Canada beating Italy 7-2 and Finland thrashing Switzerland 5-0.

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic comfortably beat Germany 4-1 although they lost goaltender Dominik Hasek to injury, and Slovakia beat Russia 5-3.

The last match of the day saw Latvia draw 3-3 with the US after over-time.




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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