Spirited Haag snags sensational silver

Swedish cross-country skier Anna Haag clinched a superb second spot on Friday in the 15 km pursuit event at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

Spirited Haag snags sensational silver

Haag crossed the line behind Norwegian star Marit Bjørgen, who added to her sprint crown.

“It’s so fantastic! It hasn’t sunk in yet. I’ve rarely felt better, this is a victory for me,” Haag told Sveriges Television.

Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk took bronze as Bjørgen made it two titles in three days.

Bjørgen, a 28-year-old from Trondheim, crossed the line in 39min 58.1sec to see off Haag by 8.9sec with Kowalczyck 0.4sec further back.

The champion also won a bronze in the 10km as she tries to keep the Norwegians on the trail of Germany, who stand second in the overall medal standings behind the United States while keeping hosts Canada at arm’s length.

Bjørgen, who appeared to find her second wind in the final three kilometres, showed her versatility in dominating a course where racers have to do 7.5km in classic style then switch skis and do the same again freestyle.

At the half-way mark Charlotte Kalla, champion over 10km, trailed by just 28sec before she fell away but the course proved too much for 2006 champion Kristina Smigun-Vaehi of Estonia, who threw in the towel.

Italian Arianna Follis and Finn Aino-Kaisa Saarinen also made challenges that ultimately petered out as Haag and World Cup champ Kowalczyk dug in to keep further Norwegian medal hopes Kristin Størmer Steira and Therese Johaug off the podium.

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Swedes claim Paralympic curling bronze

The Swedish curling team has claimed the bronze at the Paralympics overcoming the USA 7-5 in Vancouver on Saturday. The host nation, Canada won the gold after beating the Koreans 8-7.

Swedes claim Paralympic curling bronze

Sweden played without an alternate, after officials suspended Glenn Ikonen on Friday after a random drug test detected a beta blocker in his body.

The drug is used to control high blood pressure and Ikonen, who said it was prescribed by his doctor in Sweden, told reporters he had not intentionally taken a drug on the banned list.

Canadian wheelchair curling skip Jim Armstrong led his team to a gold medal win Saturday in the final match of the Paralympic Winter Games, narrowly beating Korea 8-7.

The Canadians reached their final score midway through the game in the fourth end. Tension rose in the Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre as the Korean team, skipped by Kim Haksung, edged a little bit closer with each end of the nail-biting match.

But in the eighth and final end, a rock thrown by Armstrong careened down the sheet of ice to smash one of two Korean rocks out of the rings, averting a possible tie and securing the gold for host Canada in front of a crowd of more than 5,000.

“It’s tremendous and overwhelming,” Armstrong said. “This game really showed that the best part of wheelchair curling is that no lead is safe.”

The Vancouver event was the second time wheelchair curling was included in the Paralympics.

The 10 countries participating were Canada, the US, Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.