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Sunday, 10 February, 2002, 20:21 GMT

Strobl strikes gold in downhill

Austria's Fritz Strobl has won the Olympic men's downhill gold after a thrilling run at Snowbasin.

Norway's Lasse Kjus took silver while another Austrian Stephan Eberharter finished in bronze position.

The Grizzly course proved to be little problem for Strobl, who produced a near faultless display to win in a time of one minute 39.13 seconds.

"I don't think this will change my life - I was happy before"
Gold medallist Fritz Strobl

"It's just a great, great feeling. It's overwhelming," said Strobl.

Kjus, who won silver in Nagano four years ago, had to settle for the same result again finishing in 1:39.35.

Eberharter, the pre-race favourite and this season's World Cup downhill champion managed a time of 1:39.41.

The 29-year-old Strobl becomes the sixth Austrian to have won an Olympic downhill title.

Strobl facts
Age: 29
Country: Austria
Profession: Policeman
Past Olympics: 1998 Nagano - 11th
Other successes:
Fourth in downhill at 1997 World Champs
sixth in downhill at 2001 World Champs
Nickname: Fritz the Cat

"It was just the perfect day," added Strobl.

"The weather was beautiful, the course was fine and I was able to run my race the way I had planned.

"I don't think this will change my life. I was happy before."

Eberharter, who is favourite for the super-G remained upbeat despite the uncharacteristic performance.

"It was not really my race. I made two or three small mistakes, in particular coming into the final wall," said Eberharter.

"I won the bronze, I didn't lose gold."


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