Winter Olympics: Americans fight back

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The Independent Online
THE United States staged their third dramatic comeback of the ice hockey tournament yesterday when Todd Marchant scored with 28 seconds left to secure a 3-3 draw with Canada.

The Americans, who fought from two goals down in the third period for draws with France and Slovakia, had left the net empty in favour of an extra attacker when Marchant's slap- shot tied the game. The result left Canada, with five points from three games, certain to reach the quarter- finals. The US, two points behind, are likely to join them.

Bjorn Daehlie confirmed his place as the leading men's Nordic skier with his first gold medal of the Games, his fourth overall.

The winner of three golds in Albertville two years ago, Daehlie beat his arch-rival, Vladimir Smirnov, of Kazakhstan, by 18 seconds in the 10km classic race.

Nordic skiing's most successful Olympian, though, is Lyubov Yegorova, who became Russia's first double gold medallist of the Games when she held off Manuela Di Centa, of Italy, to win the women's 10km cross-country pursuit race by eight seconds. It was her fifth Olympic gold and eighth medal overall.

In the speed skating, Gunda Niemann, of Germany, the double 1992 champion and favourite for the women's 3,000 metres, crashed out of the event. Her team lodged a protest, saying that she had tripped on a lane marker that had moved, but the race judges turned the protest down.

Svetlana Bazhanova, of Russia, was the eventual winner, in 4min 17.43sec, nearly seven seconds outside Niemann's world record.