Wang Meng wins third gold, Canada leads medal standing

14:52, February 27, 2010      

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Chinese top skater Wang Meng won her third gold medal through victory in women's 1,000m at the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games while hosts Canada jumped over Germany and the United States in medal standings on Friday.

With the win Friday evening, Wang Meng joined Marit Bjoergen of Norway as the most gold winners in Vancouver. Cross country skiier Bjoergen won the women's individual sprint, 15km pursuit and women's 4x5km relay events respectively.

Wang Meng, 24, also defended her title in the 500m race last Wednesday and led her teammates to top the podium of 3,000m relay one week later.

Wang believed that her victory depended on her morale. "I got a sore throat yesterday and didn't take training the whole day. I just competed with my tough mind."

Wang's victory also meant that China swept all four gold medals of women's short track speed skating as her teammate Zhou Yang held back three tough rivals from South Korea in the 1,500m final last Saturday.

"I am so happy. This was my third gold and fourth for Chinese women's team," said Wang Meng.

Canadians collected two golds from short track speed skating Friday and led the medal standings with 10 golds. Germany was second at 9 and the United States was third at 8.

After winning the men's 500m event, Canadian Charles Hamelin led his team to win the men's 5,000m relay, winding up the short track speed skating.

In the 500m, Hamelin barely kept his own balance as he skated across the finish line first in 40.981 seconds, followed by American Apolo Anton Ohno, who was later disqualified.

Sung Si-bak of South Korea had the silver and the bronze medal went to Francois-Louis Tremblay of Canada.

In the men's 5,000m relay, the host team moved into the lead with 21 lpas to go as Olivier Jean overtook China, which had led the first half of the race.

Tremblay took the last skate and held on for a close victory.

"The strategy was to be extremely confident, our strategy was called 'Operation Cobra' which was where Francois-Louis had one minute and ten seconds rest before he did the last two laps, and the last two laps were very good," said Hamelin.

"I was thinking only about the gold, I knew it was a possibility," said Tremblay.

Canada took the gold in six minutes and 44.224 seconds while the defending champion South Korea was edged to second in 6:44.446.

Although Ohno failed to defend his title in the 500m event with a result of qualification in the final, the prolific world-class skater led his U.S. team to finish third in 6:44.498. This is Ohno's eigth medal from three Olympic Games.

In Whistler Friday, Maria Riesch dominated the slalom to win the last women's Alpine event ahead of Austria's Marlies Schild and Sarka Zahrobska of the Czech Republic.

Norway won another gold medal as their men's 4x7.5km biathlon relay team came home first ahead of Austria and Russia, with Ole Einar Bjoerndalen claiming a sixth career Winter Olympics title.

While in women's parallel giant slalom event, Nicolien Sauerbreij of Netherlands came first, beating Russia's Ekaterina Ilyukhina and Marion Kreiner of Austria to the second and third respectively.

In women's curling, defending champion Sweden came from behind to win the final by edging hot favourite Canada 7-6 in an extra end.

The Swedish rink became the first team taking two golds in a row since curling became an Olympic event.

After a blanked first end, Sweden went ahead at 4-2 after five ends. But cheered by sold-out host crowds, top seed Canada fought back, collecting four points in four ends.

In the bronze medal match earlier Friday, China tounced Switzerland 12-6.

On Saturday, the penultimate day of the Vancouver winter Olympics, skiier and skaters and sleders will vie for seven golds before the men's 50km cross country skiing and men's ice hockey are held on Sunday.

Source: Xinhua
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