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Canada Edges US, Takes Gold in Final Day of Olympic Speedskating

  • David Byrd

The final day of speedskating at the Richmond Olympic Oval proved golden for host team Canada's men and for reigning Olympic champion Germany's women's team. The men beat the United States while Germany squeaked past Japan by just two 100ths of one second.

The men's final was a duel between hosts Canada and the United States. The Canadians were the silver medalists in this event in 2006 while the Americans finished in sixth place in Turin.

In the end, the Canadian team of Denny Morrison, Lucas Makowsky and Mathieu Giroux beat Chad Hedrick, Brian Hansen and Jonathan Kuck by 21-100ths of one second.

Mathieu Giroux, Lucas Makowsky, and Denny Morrison of Canada show off their gold medals in team pursuit speedskating in Vancouver, Canada, 27 Feb 2010

Mathieu Giroux, Lucas Makowsky, and Denny Morrison of Canada show off their gold medals in team pursuit speedskating in Vancouver, Canada, 27 Feb 2010

The result ended a medal drought for Morrison, 24, who had failed to medal in his previous events at these Olympics. Saturday, the Canadian said he fed off the energy of the thousands of Canadian fans who flooded the downtown area the night before his race.

"Just to see how many people were walking around singing 'O Canada!' in the streets with flags waving. Yeah the home town pride and support was amazing. I'm not going to give it all the credit, but maybe that was one of the reasons why I was able to come back so strong for the team pursuit and have a medal hanging around my neck today," said Morrison.

For Chad Hedrick, Vancouver was his last Olympics. The American said after Saturday's silver medal that he knows his younger teammates will build on his success on the ice.

American Speedskater Chad Hedrick tells the media that the 2010 Winter Games will be his final appearance at the Olympics, Vancouver, Canada, 27 Feb 2010

American Speedskater Chad Hedrick tells the media that the 2010 Winter Games will be his final appearance at the Olympics, Vancouver, Canada, 27 Feb 2010

"I'll be leaving," said Hedrick. "This is my last Olympics and these are the guys who are going to be taking my spot. So for them to go out and do well like this, uh I think they are going to be eager to go out to Russia in 2014 and do well."

The Netherlands won the bronze medal in the men's event by beating Norway in an Olympic record time of 3:39.95.

In the women's event, the German team of Daniela Thoms Anschutz, Stephanie Beckert and Katrine Mattscherodt was trailing Japan headed into the final meters, but a huge surge at the end of the race earned the Germans the gold by just 0.02 seconds. Poland beat the United States by more than 1.5 seconds to take the bronze medal.

Coupled with snowboarder Jasey Jay Anderson's win in the parallel giant slalom and Canada's win in men's curling, the Canadians now lead the gold medal count with 13, the most the host nation has ever earned at an Olympics - winter or summer.

The Vancouver Games conclude Sunday with a cross-country skiing race and the men's gold medal ice hockey game between Canada and the United States.

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