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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 February 2006, 22:52 GMT
Winter Olympics - day six review

Evgeni Plushenko
Evgeni Plushenko captured the gold medal that has eluded him
Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko scored a personal best of 167.67 points in the men's free programme to take gold with a near-flawless performance.

Britain's Shelley Rudman won Team GB's first medal of the Games, with a superb silver in the skeleton.

Earlier, snowboard cross reached a thrilling climax with American Seth Wescott grabbing gold.

Britain's men's curlers beat Germany 7-6 for their fourth win out of five and the women's side beat Russia 10-4.

The victory means Rhona Martin's team have won three of their four round-robin matches.



After suffering their first loss on Wednesday, Great Britain's women curlers continued their title defence with a comprehensive 10-4 win over Russia.

Rhona Martin's team have now won three of their first four matches (out of nine) and are in a good position to qualify for the knock-out stage as one of the top four.

In the other morning matches, Denmark beat Japan 9-5, Switzerland won 6-5 against Canada, and Sweden triumphed 8-4 over Italy.

In the evening, Sweden beat the United States 5-4, Canada came back strongly to defeat Norway 10-8 and Switzerland trounced Denmark 10-2.

The GB men's curlers, led by David Murdoch, beat Germany 7-6 for their fourth win in five matches to top the group. The leading four teams after the round-robin stage progress to the semi-finals.

In other games on Thursday, Canada beat Norway 6-5, Switzerland edged out New Zealand 9-7 and the US comfortably beat Sweden 10-6.


The Winter Olympics' newest event, snowboard cross, made its exciting debut in Bardonecchia.

A field of 36 was whittled down to 32 after two individual time trials before four-man knock-out heats, down the twisty 900m course with five-metre jumps, decided the finalists.

American Seth Wescott held off Slovakia's Radoslav Zidek on the line after France's Paul-Henri Delerue and Spain's Jordi Font crashed further up the course.

Delerue was first to pick himself up and made it over for bronze.


Russian Evgeni Plushenko took gold in the men's figure skating with a near-flawless performance.

The 23-year-old, who led by a huge 10.66 points after Tuesday's short programme, scored a personal best of 167.67 in the free programme to win the title by 27.12 points.

World champion Stephane Lambiel took the silver medal and Canada's Jeffrey Buttle finished third.

Both the men's and women's speed skating team pursuit reached their climax at the Oval Lingotto.

In the men's event, hosts Italy delighted the crowd as their quartet (Matteo Anesi, Enrico Fabris and Ippolito Sanfratello) won a surprise gold ahead of Canada, while the Netherlands took the bronze medal.

In the women's event, Germany's star quartet justified their favourites tag as they won gold.

Claudia Pechstein won a remarkable eighth speed skating medal, equalling the Olympic record.

Canada again took silver, with Russia in bronze position.


Shelley Rudman won the first medal of the Games for Team GB after a brilliant performance in the skeleton in Cesana.

The 24-year-old was fourth fastest after the first of the two runs, but produced her best in the second run to edge out several more experienced sliders.

Switzerland's Maya Pederson took gold, with Melissa Hollingsworth-Richards of Canada in bronze.

Rudman, who came second in the European Championships last month, set the fastest time in the final practice run, but had said she was only aiming for a top-10 finish.

Austria (Michael Gruber, Christoph Bieler, Felix Gottwald, Mario Stecher) won the Nordic combined event team gold medal with Germany in silver and Finland in bronze.

Germany took a 10-second lead over Austria heading into Thursday's deciding 4 x 5km race after topping the standings following two rounds of ski jumping.

Meanwhile, Estonia's Kristina Smigun became the first double medallist of the Winter Games with victory in the women's 10km classical cross country, following her 15km pursuit gold on Sunday.

Marit Bjorgen of Norway took silver more than 21 seconds behind, followed by veteran Hilde Pedersen of Norway with bronze.

In the women's biathlon 7.5 km sprint, Florence Baverel-Robert of France won gold ahead of Anna Carin Olofsson of Sweden and Lilia Efremova of Ukraine.

Britain's Emma Fowler finished in 67th, almost four minutes behind Baverel-Robert after shooting all but two of her 12 targets.

Meanwhile, Russian biathlete Olga Pyleva, the silver medallist in the women's 15km race, has become the first competitor to fail a doping test in Turin.

Pyleva, 30, has been stripped of her medal and thrown out of the Games.

The preliminary rounds of the men's ice hockey continued at the Palasport Olimpico, with Russia trouncing Sweden 5-0 in the day's big game.

In other matches, Finland thrashed Italy 6-0, Switzerland stunned the Czech Republic 3-2, Slovakia beat Latvia 6-3, Canada eased past Germany 5-1 and the USA beat Kazahkstan 4-1.


Medals Table Sun Feb 26 - 15:22
  G S B
2.United States997
7.South Korea632

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