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Saturday, 9 March, 2002, 10:54 GMT

Myklebust retains gold

Norway's Raghnhild Myklebust retained her gold medal in the women's 7.5km sit-ski (biathlon) on the first day of the Utah Paralympics.

Taking part in her fifth Paralympics, the 58-year-old finished nearly two minutes ahead of second-place finisher Olena Yurkovska from Ukraine.

Svitlana Tryfonova, another Ukrainian, won the bronze.

In the men's sit-ski, Rudolf Weber of Switzerland won gold with perfect shooting, ahead of Austria's Oliver Anthofer who missed one target in the first shooting round.

Ruepp Roland of Italy won bronze.

"If someone had told me it would have been 0-0 going into the third period, I don't know if would have been happy or not"
US coach Rick Middleton

The women's and visually impaired men's downhill competitions scheduled for Friday were postponed until Saturday due to heavy snow.

In sled hockey, Sweden beat Estonia 4-1 in the preliminary round at the E-Center in Salt Lake City.

"They're tough to beat, they're solid," said Jens Kask, after scoring three goals for Sweden.

"The expectation we have is high, but it's one game at a time. We have to beat at least three teams more to get a medal game."

In another game, the United States beat Japan 3-0 with all scores coming in the final period.

Tired

"If someone had told me it would have been 0-0 going into the third period, I don't know if would have been happy or not," said US coach Rick Middleton.

Middleton, a former National Hockey League all-star, revamped the US team which has had poor showings in recent Paralympics.

"We just got tired at the end," said Mits Nagase of Japan after the loss to the United States.

The Paralympics continues until 16 March in Salt Lake City and surrounding venues.


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