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Day 10 Highlighted  by Witty World Record - 2002-02-18


Another world record fell Sunday at the Utah Olympic Oval, and it came from an American woman who has had to overcome an illness.

Chris Witty was the only American to win two medals for the United States at the 1998 Nagano Olympics. She then competed at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics, and placed fifth in cycling's 500-meter time trial. But there was great concern over her chances for a medal here, because she was recovering from mononucleosis, an illness that makes one extremely tired. In last week's 500 meters she placed 14th.

But Sunday night, she not only won gold in the women's 1,000 meters, Witty broke the world record, with a time of 1:13.83. "It's a complete shock," she said. "I mean, I was happy to be able to skate both 500's [meters], you know, and not be too tired after the first day; and then, just to be able to skate the 1,000 too. And, I was like [I thought], top 10 would be great, top five, I'd be really satisfied. But I had no idea I would have won a gold."

Winning silver was German Sabine Voelker, who's record Witty broke. Another American, Jennifer Rodriguez, got the bronze.

In skiing, Italian Daniela Ceccarelli won the women's super giant slalom, beating combined gold medallist Janica Kostelic of Croatia by five-100ths-of-a-second. Italian Karen Putzer got the bronze.

For the second straight Olympics, the Norwegian men's 4x10-kilometer cross-country relay team edged Italy for the gold. Germany was third.

In the Nordic combined team event, which features ski jumping and cross-country skiing, Finland won gold, and Germany edged Austria for silver and bronze, respectively. The U.S. team had its best-ever finish at fourth place.

Americans also had to settle for a fourth place in the two-man bobsled, continuing a long Olympic draught in that sport. Gold went to Germany, and Switzerland won silver and bronze.

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