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Germany's Lange wins record fourth gold medal in two-man bobsled

In the two-man bobsled event, Andre Lange won his fourth Olympic gold medal, with fellow German Thomas Florscheutz taking silver. Germany's Magdalena Neuner won gold in the women's 12.5-kilometer biathlon.

Germany's GER-1, piloted by Andre Lange

Lange will retire after next weekend's four-man race

Germany's Andre Lange earned a record-breaking fourth gold medal on Sunday in the two-man bobsled event at Whistler's Sliding Centre.

Lange and brakeman Kevin Kuske took the lead in their Germany 1 bobsled after the second run and finished in a combined time of three minutes 26.65 seconds.

"If you had told me when I started 17 years ago that I would win four gold medals I would have said you were stupid," Lange told reporters.

"There was a lot of pressure because we were the Olympic title holders. Germany had high expectations that we would win and now we have."

German Thomas Florschuetz finished 0.22 seconds behind in the silver medal position while Alexsandr Zubkov steered Russia to the bronze medal 0.86 seconds back.

Olympia / Bobfahren / Lange / Kuske

Germany's GER-1, piloted by Andre Lange

Lange is to compete in next weekend's four-man race before retiring from the sport. The 36-year-old German won his first gold medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

Biathalon dominance

Also gaining attention in Vancouver was Germany's Magdalena Neuner, who won the gold medal for the women's 12.5-kilometer biathalon.

Neuner was trailing after the final shoot but the six-time world champion outsprinted her nearest rivals to finish in a time of 35 minutes, 19.6 seconds with two penalty loops. Zaitseva crossed the line 5.5 seconds behind, beating German Simone Hauswald in a battle for second place.

"I really wasn't expecting anything like this at all, and then bingo another gold medal", said Neuner.

The German biathlon star has won three medals at the Vancouver Olympics after taking gold in the 10-kilometer pursuit and finishing second in the 7.5-kilometer sprint to claim silver. The 23-year-old German said she will, however, not be competiting in the relay on Tuesday.

"She is not just a star but a true champion," said German International Olympic Committee Vice-president Thomas Bach.

Magdelena Neuener with Simone Hauswald

A jubilant Neuner with Bronze medallist Simone Hauswald

Germany is the most successful nation in the Olympic biathlon with now 16 gold, 18 silver and 8 bronze medals. The team is on target to repeat the successes of the Turin and Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

Bach paid tribute to the German biathlon stars. "The girls are just fantastic. That was a fabulous final sprint finish", he said.

Three-time Olympic champion Kati Wilhelm had a disappointing race, missing the shooting target three times to forfeit any chance of winning a medal.

acb/nrt/AP/Reuters/AFP

Editor: Chuck Penfold

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