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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 February 2006, 22:00 GMT
Winter Olympics: Day 13 review

Japan's Shizuka Arakawa
The flawless Arakawa ran out a comfortable winner in Turin
Japan's Shizuka Arakawa won the ladies figure skating gold, relegating American Sasha Cohen to silver and Russia's Irina Slutskaya to bronze.

Arakawa produced a superb free programme to claim victory.

Earlier on Thursday, Sweden beat Switzerland 7-6 in a thrilling women's curling decider.

China's Han Xiaopeng claimed a surprise gold in the men's aerials, Daniela Meuli won a snowboarding gold and Russia's women took the biathlon relay.



Japan's Shizuka Arakawa stunned the favourites Sasha Cohen and Irina Slutskaya to claim Olympic victory in Turin on Thursday.

The Japanese star produced a flawless free skating programme to climb from third to first on a night her chief rivals failed to deliver.

America's Cohen, the leader from the short programme, hit the ice twice during her routine to finish second.

And favourite Slutskaya, second in 2002, fell once as she slid to bronze.


Sweden, the reigning world and European champions, beat Switzerland 7-6 - with the final stone in the 11th end - to win gold in the women's curling.

Swedish skipper Anette Norberg showed all her experience to produce a double takeout with the title on the line.

But it was cruel luck on the Swiss, who also lost the 2002 final, as they had come from behind to force an extra end with the final stone of the 10th end.

Earlier, Canada trounced Norway 11-5 to clinch the bronze medal.


Switzerland's Daniela Meuli took gold in the women's parallel giant slalom at Bardonecchia.

Meuli, 24, the world champion and World Cup leader, claimed Switzerland's fifth gold and third in snowboarding.

She downed Germany's Amelie Kober, who crashed in the second of two legs in the final.

America's Rosey Fletcher clinched bronze from Doris Guenther of Austria.


In the biathlon, Russia won the women's 4x6km relay gold from Germany and France.

Russia, led by 15km gold medallist Svetlana Ishmouratova, clocked one hour 16 minutes 12.5 seconds and only missed twice in 40 shots in San Sicario.

Anna Bogaliy started in place of Olga Pyleva, the only athlete caught so far for failing a drugs test in Turin, and gave her team a big lead at the first exchange, setting up team-mates Ishmouratova, Olga Zaitseva and Albina Akhatova for victory.

"We dedicate this win to Olga Pyleva even though she's absent," said Ishmouratova.

"We know it will have been difficult for her to have watched the race alone at home on television. We are with her, as one."

Pyleva, 30, was hit with a two-year ban after testing positive for carphedon, which she claimed she had taken unknowingly in medication for a foot injury.

Two-time defending champions Germany, who included 15km and 10km pursuit silver medallist Martina Glagow and 10km pursuit champion Kati Wilhelm, trailed in 50.7 secs behind.

And China's Han Xiaopeng sprung a surprise in the men's aerials final at Sauze d'Oulx.

The 22-year-old stunned the field to claim gold despite his World Cup ranking of seventh.

It was also his country's first ever Olympic gold in a skiing event.

Dmitri Dashinski of Belarus won the silver and Vladimir Lebedev of Russia took the bronze.

Canada's World Cup leader Kyle Nissen finished a disappointing fifth while American Jeret Peterson paid for a poor landing to his second jump and ended up seventh.


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

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