Olsson claims new cross-country bronze

Johan Olsson claimed Sweden's 11th medal of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic games when fortune favoured him in the battle for the bronze in the men's 50 kilometre cross-country classic.

Olsson claims new cross-country bronze

Norway’s Petter Northug won the race in impressive form claiming his maiden Olympic individual title and his second gold of the Games in the endurance event on Sunday.

Northug, the reigning world champion at the distance, beat Germany’s Axel

Teichmann in a two-up sprint to the line. Johan Olsson took advantage of a slip by Swiss skier Dario Cologna to claim his second bronze of the games.

Northug’s second gold of the Games, after his victory in the team sprint event, came after a thrilling end to the two-hour nordic epic.

After most of the field had been left trailing by a lead group of 20 skiers Teichmann upped the pace in the final kilometre.

That stretched the chasing bunch further but on the final descent towards the finish line the German was soon in everyone’s sights.

Northug, the overall World Cup leader, pushed hard on his poles to pull level with Teichmann as they raced around the final bend.

And the Norwegian carried that momentum over the next 100 metres to the finish line where he beat Teichmann by just 0.3sec. Olsson was third at 1.0sec.

“I had to stick to my plan, to stay in the (leading) group. When Teichmann attacked over the hill I knew I had to stay with him,” said Northug.

“I always said he (Teichmann) is maybe the best sprinter with me but I know that if I stayed with him I can beat him in the stadium.”

Northug finished with four medals from the Vancouver Games, with a bronze from the individual sprint and silver in the 4x10km relay adding to his golds.

At only 24 years old, he is also just the third nordic skier ever to have won world and Olympic gold at the distance.

Teichmann was boosted by a ski change, as racers are allowed to do at interval points throughout the race, at the 40km mark.

But he did not expect to be on the podium.

“I had bad skis between 30 and 40 km but when I changed after that it was better, I felt strong,” he said.

“I never imagined taking the silver in the 50km. I never thought I would make it to the podium, so I didn’t bring clothes with me for the flowers ceremony.”

Olsson said the best he could do was follow Northug on the final climb.

“Of course I saw Petter on the last hill. He is very strong in the final so I took his back,” he said. “We were really, really tight at the finish.”

Canada’s Brian McKeever was set to become the first Paralympian to compete in a Winter Olympics by lining up in the event.

However, partially-sighted McKeever was left off Canada’s four-man team on Saturday. He will now compete in cross country at the Paralympics.

Devon Kershaw was Canada’s highest-placed finisher coming home in fifth place.

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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.