Work in Sports
Dominant in World Cup, skiers struggle in Lake Placid
Posted: Saturday February 19, 2000 10:43 AM
LAKE PLACID, New York (Reuters) -- Austrian downhillers had a second straight tough day on Friday as Olympic medalist Ed Podivinsky of Canada won and American Chris Puckett collected his second silver medal at the inaugural Winter Goodwill Games.
In other top action on the second day of the Games, Bulgarian short-track speedskater Evgenia Radanova set and re-set the world record in the women's 500-meter race while Canadian Francois-Louis Trembley reaped his second and third gold medals.
Tremblay won the 1,000-meter race and was part of Canada's winning 5,000-meter short-track relay. China won the women's 3,000-meter relay.
In sliding sports on a day with light but steady snowfall, Italian Armin Zoeggler won the men's two-run luge while Sylke Otto led a 1-2 German medals push in the women's luge. Alex Hamilton of Britain led the women's skeleton after two runs.
Zoeggler's victory was set up earlier in the day when Olympic gold medalists Georg Hackl of Germany and Austrian Markus Prock plus World Cup winner Jens Mueller pulled out of the singles competititon, citing trouble getting adjusted to the new track, which opened last month.
"The conditions of a very new track are a little strange. It is not possible to drive safely with my equipment," Hackl said.
At Whiteface Mountain, World Cup snowboard champion and 1998 Olympic medalist Ross Powers ignored a head cold and powered a U.S. sweep of the top four places in men's halfpipe. That gave U.S. riders five of the six medals awarded in halfpipe.
Podivinsky, who collected $20,000 for the win, was timed in 1 minute, 49.21 seconds with Puckett -- silver medalist Thursday behind upstart Frenchman Vincent Blanc -- timed in 1:49.56. Fritz Strobl, who won his second Hahnenkamm last month, ended Austria's two-day medals drought by finishing third with a 1:50.02 clocking.
"I had the right combination today," said Podivinsky, who was sixth in the first of the back-to-back downhills. "I cleaned up the whole bottom part of the course. I felt smoother. My skis weren't chattering."
Radlova set one world record in the semifinals of the 500m and re-set the mark when she broke fast in the finals and led all the way to win in 43.873 seconds. Second place went to Chunlu Wang of China [44.368]. Another Chinese, one of two Yang Yangs here and so designated Yang Yang [A], was third in 44.414 after taking a gold medal in Thursday's 1,000m.
"It was hard to qualify," Radlova said. "In the [four-skater] final, the other girls are so good at the start, so I had to go right away."
Zoeggler completed his two runs in 1:48.084 to win the gold medal in luge with Slovakian Jaroslav Slavik silver medalist in 1:50.527. Austrian Gerhard Gleirscher was bronze medalist with a time of 1:50.865.
Otto finished in 1:38.023 and teammate Silke Kraushaar took silver in 1:38.445. Latvian Iluta Gaile was third in 1:38.942.
Powers led the first run of halfpipe at Whiteface Mountain and received an even greater second-run score to win with 45.5 points. Tommy Czeschin was second [43.0] with Rob Kingwill third [42.5] and Ricky Bower, gold medalist at the 1999 world championships, in fourth place [42.1].
The first Winter Goodwill Games -- after four Summer Goodwill Games since 1986 -- have attracted some 500 athletes from 20-plus nations for four days of snow, ice and sliding sports.
Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.