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Austrian Ski Great Finally Gets Olympic Gold


Austrian ski great Michaela Dorfmeister has won the women's Olympic downhill gold medal at the Turin Games in Italy.

Dorfmeister sped down the course in San Sicario Wednesday with a dominant two-run time of one minute, 56.49 seconds under windy, cloudy conditions in the Italian Alps. The Olympic gold medal is the first for Dorfmeister, who is a multiple world champion. Martina Schild of Switzerland won the silver (1:56.86) and Anja Paerson of Sweden got the bronze (1:57.13).

Andreas and Wolfgang Linger of Austria slid to Olympic glory by winning gold in men's doubles luge with a two-run combined time of 1:34.497. The silver medal went to Andre Florschutz and Torsten Wustlich of Germany (1:34.807) while Italians Gerhard Plankensteiner and Oswald Haselrieder thrilled local fans with the bronze (1:34.930).

Dale Begg-Smith won the men's freestyle skiing moguls event to give Australia its third-ever Winter Olympics gold medal. He finished with a score of 26.77 ahead of Mikko Ronkainen of Finland (26.62) and Toby Dawson of the United States (26.30).

Wang Meng of China won the women's 500-meter short track speedskating skating gold medal with a time of 44.345 seconds. World record holder Evgenia Radanova of Bulgaria took silver (44.374) and Anouk Leblanc-Boucher of Canada won the bronze (44.759).

The scheduled men's Nordic Combined event has been pushed back by one day because gusting winds made dangerous conditions for the ski jumping portion on the large hill. The event also included a four-by-five kilometer cross-country race. Reigning world champion Norway had to withdraw from the competition after illness struck three members of the four-man team. But they say they will compete if bad weather happens to postpone the event again on Thursday.

The United States has the most gold medals so far with five. Russia and Germany follow with four each. Norway has the most total medals with 11.

ome information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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