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Olympic Corner: Maze celebrates giant victory


Olympic Corner: Maze celebrates giant victory


After a disappointing first half to the season Tina Maze has enjoyed a golden games in Sochi, where she has returned to winning ways.

Days after being involved in an unprecedented tie for first place in the downhill the Slovenian won the giant slalom, outright.

She edged out Saturday’s super-G winner Anna Fenninger of Austria by the smallest of margins.

Maze led after the first run and although she leaked time on the second she held on to beat Fenninger by seven hundredths of a second.

Defending Olympic champion Victoria Rebensburg of Germany was 6th after the first run, but set the best time in the second to finish with the bronze.

There were no medals for Swedish giant slalom specialists Maria Pietilä-Holmner and Jessica Lindell-Vikarby who were sixth and seventh respectively.

Photo finish gold for Svendsen

After being postponed twice the men’s 15 kilometre biathlon mass start took place on Tuesday.

The stage was finally set for the red hot Martin Fourcade and two-time Olympic champion Emil Hegle Svendsen to do battle and the pair didn’t disappoint.

Svendsen shot clean as Fourcade missed just one target but the race for gold between them went to the wire and eventually a photo finish.

The photo revealed that Norway’s Svendsen pipped his French rival by a binding’s width for his third career Olympic gold.

Czech Ondrej Moravec added a bronze to his silver won in the pursuit.

Fourcade, who has stolen the biathlon show so far, missed out on a hat-trick of Sochi golds this time around but harbours more gold-medal winning ambitions in Russia in the upcoming relay events.

Graabak wins large hill Nordic Combined

The men’s individual large hill Nordic combined event was also decided at the line.

Norwegians Joergen Graabak and Magnus Moan, who were in sixth and seventh place after the jump, were neck and neck during the 10 kilometre race.

A leading pack of nine athletes entered the stadium for the final time with Germany’s Bjoern Kircheisen in the lead.

But Graabak produced a dazzling sprint finish in the final 100 metres with Moan close on his heels.

But Graaback eventually pipped his compatriot for his first Olympic medal leaving Moan with the silver. Bronze went to German Fabian Riessle.

Defending champion Bill Demong of the USA was 31st.

Vaultier races to snowboard cross gold

The men’s snowboard cross was won by Frenchman Pierre Vaultier, who despite riding with a damaged anterior cruciate ligament, battled his way down the course in a thrilling duel with Russian Nikolai Olyunin.

The 26-year old three-time world cup champion, however, edged his rival over the last two jumps to strike his first Olympic gold while Olyunin celebrated silver, much to the delight of the home crowd.

Bronze went to American Alex Deibold.

It’s not the winning that counts

The Jamaican bobsleigh team has caused quite the commotion in Sochi on their return to the Olympic track after a 12-year absence.

Driver Winston Watts and brakeman Marvin Dixon continued the
cool running legacy started 26 years ago.

Watts and Dixon finished 29th out of 30 only courtesy of Serbia’s crew failing to start their third run.

But for the pair it’s not the winning that counts

Dixon said: “It doesn’t matter where you finish, as long as we compete and that’s sports. We compete and we have fun. That’s it. No one guy can compete and no one team so we’ve got to compete against each other. Someone’s got to lose and someone’s got win and that’s all.”

Despite their result 46-year old Watts and 30-year old Dixon have been two of the Games’ stars at the Black Sea resort and will surely get a much-needed warm welcome on their return home.

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