Lysacek wins figure skating golf

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Maria Riesch joined best friend Lindsey Vonn as an Alpine gold medalist at the Vancouver Olympics on Thursday, winning the super-combined race on Whistler mountain.

The German skier, who had been second to Vonn after the downhill portion of the two-run race, won the gold in a combined time of 2 minutes, 9.14 seconds — a day after the American won the downhill despite a bruised right shin.

"Today everything was fitting together," Riesch said. "That's what I said before these Olympics Games — for winning a gold medal everything must be perfect that day for you. Today everything was perfect for me."

Julia Mancuso, who earned the silver on Wednesday in the downhill, was again second on the podium in the super-combi, and Anja Paerson of Sweden took bronze. Vonn missed a gate and then lost a ski in the slalom, failing to finish.

"My skiing is feeling really good now, and I have two more events and I hope I can make them just as good," said Mancuso, who is the defending Olympic champion in the giant slalom.


The course used for the downhill portion of Thursday's race was slightly shortened and the final jump was shaved due to a spate of crashes on Wednesday.

Evan Lysacek caused a big surprise in men's figure skating, winning the gold medal ahead of Russian great Evgeni Plushenko. The American finished with a combined score of 257.67 after winning the free program.

Plushenko, the defending Olympic champion who led after the short program, was second best in the free and had to settle for silver.

Tora Berger reached a milestone for Norway, winning the country's 100th Winter Olympic gold medal in the 15-kilometer individual biathlon race. A short time later, Emil Hegle Svendsen won the 101st for the Norwegians, taking gold in the men's 20K individual biathlon.

Behind Norway in the all-time medals table in the Winter Olympics is the United States, which has won 83 gold medals.

Berger, who won her first Olympic title, missed only one target on her very last shot for a 1-minute penalty, but had built up such a large lead that it didn't matter. She finished in 40:58.2, beating silver medalist Elena Khrustaleva of Kazakhstan by 20.7 seconds.

"It was really good but the last shooting really hurt because I missed," Berger said.

The Canadian men's hockey team survived a scare against Switzerland, winning 3-2 in a shootout after a 2-2 tie through overtime. Sidney Crosby scored the only goal in the shootout on the seventh attempt.


At the 2006 Turin Games, the Swiss beat Canada 2-0 in one of the biggest upsets in Olympic hockey history.

Earlier, the United States beat Norway 6-1, with Brian Rafalski scoring twice in the closing minutes. Russia was to face Slovakia later Thursday.

In the women's 1,000-meter speedskating race, Christine Nesbitt of Canada won the host country's third gold medal of the Vancouver Games. Torah Bright won Australia's first gold in the women's halfpipe.

In the women's super-combined, Vonn was fastest in the downhill, but she said after the run that her shin was "killing" her. After starting her slalom leg, she still led Riesch at the first checkpoint, but then fell behind by the second — moments before missing the gate and crashing into the snow.

"It hurts so bad," Vonn said. "It's one thing to do the downhill, but the super-combined is really tough on my shin. I tried as hard as I could."

Riesch nearly lost control in her downhill run, getting too much air in a small jump before halfway and veering momentarily off course, but her time of 1:24.49 was still fast enough to make her the favorite heading into the slalom leg.

After two straight days of racing, the women will have the day off Friday before the super-G on Saturday. Vonn will again be the favorite for that event.

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