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    Olympic diary: Russia sinks to 12th place in medal count on 9th day of Vancouver Olympics

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    Russia failed to win any medals on the 9th day of the Vancouver Winter Olympics, falling to the 12th place in gold and other medal count, although Russian athletes were close to claim victory in two competitions on Saturday night.

    Russia failed to win any medals on the 9th day of the Vancouver Winter Olympics, falling to the 12th place in gold and other medal count, although Russian athletes were close to claim victory in two competitions on Saturday night.

    Russian skier apologizes for 4th place in men's 30km pursuit

    Russian skier Alexander Legkov, who came in fourth in the men's 30km cross-country pursuit in Vancouver, has apologized for his failure to secure an Olympic medal.

    "I did everything I could. [I] was running, striving," Legkov said weepingly on the air of the Russia-2 TV channel soon after the end of the competition on the ninth day of the Games.

    Legkov finished the distance just 4 seconds behind the winner of the pursuit, Marcus Hellner of Sweden. Hellner took the gold with the result of one hour 15 minutes and 11.4 seconds.

    German skier Tobias Angerer won the silver, and another Swede, Johan Olsson, gained the bronze.

    Another Russian, Maxim Vylegzhanin, who was among the leaders after the first 15km classic pursuit, only managed to come in 17th, finishing 1 minute 52.8 seconds behind the leader.

    Russia's Nikolay Pankratov and Sergey Novikov finished 32nd and 43rd, respectively.

    Russia's Skobrev fails to repeat his bronze medal success in men's speed skating

    Russia's Ivan Skobrev, who won the bronze medal in men's 5,000 m Speed Skating and brought the Russian team its first medal on the second day of the Vancouver Olympics, failed to repeat his success in the men's 1,500m event on Saturday.

    Dutch speed skater Mark Tuitert snatched a victory from the hands of U.S.'s Shani Davis in the men's 1500m pursuit in Vancouver, finishing just 0.53 seconds ahead of the American.

    Tuitert concluded the distance in one minute 45.57 seconds, bringing his country its Olympic gold on the ninth day of the Games.

    Norway's Havard Bokko came in third, securing the bronze with the result of one minute 46.13 seconds.

    Skobrev was only fourth, finishing the distance 0.85 seconds behind the winner.

    Russia's Yevgeny Lalenkov, Aleksey Yesin and Aleksandr Lebedev finished 11th, 21st and 36th, respectively.

    Sweden concedes as Russian women curlers lead 10-1 in Vancouver

    Russia's women curling team beat Sweden 10-1 on the ninth day of the Olympics in Vancouver, handing the Swedes their first defeat after four wins in the round robin competition.

    The match ended after the 7th end due to concession as Russia's win became undoubted.

    This is the second win for the Russian women curlers since the start of the competition. The team defeated Denmark 7-3 on the second day of curling at the Olympics.

    Russia's win propelled the country from the bottom of the curling table to the sixth position.

    In other women's games on February 20, U.S. beat Britain 6-5, Switzerland defeated Denmark 8-7, and Germany lost to China 7-9.

    Controversial bindings and magic bring Ammann Olympic gold

    A "magical force" and disputed bindings helped Simon Ammann of Switzerland to win the fourth Olympic title in his sports career in Saturday's ski jumping large hill competitions.

    The 28-year-old Swiss dominated both rounds, showing the longest jumps of 144 and 138 meters and scoring a total of 283.6 points. Though he received poor style points in the first round, the advantage of at least seven meters was enough to beat his opponents.

    Amman said he had "a magical force to jump," making a clear reference to the nickname 'Harry Potter" he received after his first two Olympic victories in 2002, due to his likeness to the fictional wizard.

    The victory showed that the binding row with the Team Austria in no way affected the magic of the Swiss jumper.

    On Thursday, Austria's head coach Alexander Pointner accused the Swiss of using curved iron bindings, not approved by the International Ski Federation (FIS). According to Pointner, the bindings help to gain a better flight position, thereby improving aerodynamics.

    FIS said, however, Ammann's controversial bindings were in line with the rules.

    The same athletes, and even in the same order, appeared at the Olympic podium on Saturday as compared to last week's normal hill competitions - a rare occurrence in this highly competitive sport.

    Austria's Gregor Schlierenzauer, Ammann's long-time World Cup rival, was third with 262.2 points. The Austrian ski jumping star, who jumped to the Whistler hill record of 149 meters in January 2009, was behind Polish veteran Adam Malysz, who took the silver with 269.4 points.

    With four Olympic victories now in his pocket, Ammann became the most successful ski jumper ever to compete at the Olympic Games. The victory also made him the most successful Swiss Olympian ever, as he beat the previous record of alpine skier Vreni Schneider, who won three gold, one silver and one bronze medal.

    Russian team defeats Slovakia 4-2 in women's ice hockey to fight for consolidation prize

    Russia's team defeated Slovakia 4-2 in the classification game of women's ice hockey at the Vancouver Olympics on Saturday night.

    The goal scorers in the Russian team were Tatiana Sotnikova (the 8th minute), Liya Gavrilova (19, 51) and Svetlana Terentyeva (34).

    Petra Pravlikova and Jana Kapustova scored for Slovakia in the 24th and the 41st minutes.

    Russia's women ice hockey team will face Switzerland on February 22 in the game for the fifth place.

    Team medal count at 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics

    Country Gold Silver Bronze Overall

    1. U.S. 6 7 10 23

    2. Norway 5 3 3 11

    3. Germany 4 6 4 14

    4. South Korea 4 4 1 9

    5. Canada 4 3 1 8

    12. Russia 1 2 2 5

    MOSCOW, February 21 (RIA Novosti) 

     

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