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Italians Celebrate More Olympic Gold


Host Italy has picked up another speedskating gold medal at the Turin Winter Olympics. Enrico Fabris thrilled local fans Tuesday with a winning performance in the 1,500 - meter event. His time of 1:45.97 edged American 1,000 meter champion Shani Davis (1:46.13). U.S. teammate Chad Hedrick took bronze (1:46.22). Fabris had earlier helped the Italians win gold in team pursuit.

While the Italians celebrated, Germany solidified its lead in both gold and overall medals.

The German duo of Sandra Kiriasis and Anja Schneiderheinze sped to victory in women's bobsled with a four-run combined time of 3:49.98. The United States followed with silver (3:50.69) while Italy picked up a bronze (3:51.01).

Germany also won the men's 4x7.5 - kilometer biathlon relay. The team composed of Ricco Gross, Michael Roesch, Sven Fischer and Michael Greis covered the San Sicario course in 1:21:51.5. Russia was nearly 21 seconds behind (1:22:12.4). France edged Sweden for the bronze medal in a photo finish (1:22:35.1).

Felix Gottwald of Austria won gold in the Nordic Combined sprint event. Magnus Moan of Norway won the silver while German Georg Hettich finished with bronze. Hettich led after the ski jumping portion off the large hill. But Gottwald took full control in the 7.5 - kilometer cross-country sprint, finishing with an overall time of 18:29.0. The win helps boost Austrian spirits as members of their biathlon team confront suspicions of doping.

Germany leads with nine gold medals so far and 21 total, including seven silver, five bronze. Austria moves into second place with eight. The United States and Russia have seven each. Host Italy has four gold medals.

Also, Irina Slutskaya has begun her quest to join her Russian compatriots in a sweep of Olympic figure skating gold medals. The seven-time European champion and current world champion is the favorite for the women's title that ends Thursday with the free skate. American champion Sasha Cohen is one of her main rivals in the event.

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

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