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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 February 2006, 19:02 GMT
Fabris skates to 1500m gold glory
Enrico Fabris
Italian hero Fabris celebrates his 1500m gold at Turin's Oval Lingotto
Italy's Enrico Fabris claimed the gold medal in the men's 1500m speed skating event on Tuesday.

Roared on by his home crowd, Fabris, 24, added to his 5,000m bronze and team pursuit gold as he powered home in a time of one minute 45.97 seconds.

American Shani Davis took silver to add to his 1,000m gold medal in 1:46.13.

Davis' countryman and world record-holder Chad Hedrick was pushed into third place (1:46.22) ahead of Dutch skater Simon Kuipers (1:46.58).

Sitting in the centre of the rink, Fabris - who raced in the 17th pairing - was forced to anxiously wait for pre-event favourites Hedrick and Davis to complete their races.

After realising he had won gold, he leapt into the air and picked up an Italian flag for a victory lap.

We were focused on each other - we were not focused on Enrico
Chad Hedrick on his rivalry with Shani Davis
"I started quite slowly and the other skaters after me started very fast," Fabris said.

"You have to keep some strength for the final lap and I did that."

Meanwhile, the 5,000m gold medallist Hedrick barely exchanged a word with his American team-mate and arch-rival Davis after the race.

Davis had refused to take part in the team pursuit and Hedrick accused him of selfish behaviour, spoiling his chances for five gold medals at the Games.

"I was pushing a little harder to beat Shani. We were focused on each other, we were not focused on Enrico," said Hedrick.

Their team-mate and sprint specialist Joey Cheek - who already has a gold and a silver to his name in Turin - could only finish in ninth place, despite world-record pace in his opening lap.


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