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Olympics

Maria Höfl-Riesch takes silver in Sochi Olympics super-G

A silver in the Super-G has made Germany's Maria Höfl-Riesch the third most successful female Olympic alpine skier of all time. Poland has its first gold with Zbigniew Brodka winning the men's 1,500 meters speed skating.

Spring-like temperatures rising to 16 degrees Celsius (61 degrees Fahrenheit) at the Sochi Olympics set difficult conditions with soft snow for the skiers in the women's super-G event on Saturday.

The gold medal went to Austria's Anna Fenninger in a time of 1:25.52, with Germany's Maria Höfl-Riesch 0.55 seconds adrift for the silver medal. It is the German skier's second medal of the games after taking gold in the super-combined event on Monday. Austria's Nicole Hosp picked up a bronze to go with her super-combined silver.

Fourteen skiers did not finish the course, including Switzerland's Dominique Gisin, who had shared downhill gold with Slovenia's Tina Maze on Wednesday.

With her silver medal, Höfl-Riesch becomes the third-ranked Olympic medal winner of all time behind Croatia's Janica Kostelic and Switzerland's Vreni Schneider.

Upset in men's speed skating

Zbigniew Brodka collected a gold for Poland with an upset win over the big names in the men's 1,500 meters speedskating, thanks to a three thousandths of a second advantage. Second was Koen Veweij of the Netherlands. Bronze went to Canada's Denny Morrison.

American skaters used their old World Cup suits instead of those developed for Sochi. The fastest US racer finished 7th - Shani Davis, a previous the two-time silver medallist.

Preliminary ice hockey win for US

In the preliminary ice hockey round, the United States beat Russia 3-2 as Russian President Vladimir watched the game.

The deciding moment was a shootout by T. J. Oshie. In the third period, the referees had disallowed an apparent Russian goal because the net had been knocked out of place.

In women's ice hockey, Sweden upset 2010 bronze medallists Finland 4-2 while Switzerland shut out hosts Russia 2-0 to reach the semi-finals. On Monday, the Swiss play Canada and Sweden play the United States.

Bronze cross-country for Germany

In a tight finish for the women's cross-country skiing 4 x 5 kilometer relay on Saturday, Germany were beaten into bronze medal position by winners Sweden, who took gold, and Finland, who took silver.

Olympische Winterspiele 2014 Sotschi Russland Denise Herrmann Claudia Nystad Stefanie Boehler Nicole Fessel Langlauf Staffel

The German team still had reason to celebrate

"I was inspired by the others in my team. I knew we had really good skis. When I saw the German I just wanted to go for gold," said Charlotte Kalla, whose impressive comeback led Sweden to victory and its first gold at the Sochi Olympics.

Germany's Denise Herrmann, who for a short time took the lead as the race approached the final stretch, could do nothing to stop Kalla's powerful finish.

"I tried to attack in the last bend but it was really hard. I thought I could make a good sprint but others were fast, too," Herrmann said. "I did not think we could make the podium today so I'm still happy."

Defending champions Norway finished out of the medals. They had not lost a World Championship, World Cup or Olympics since 2009.

Russians dominate short track

Russians Viktor Ahn and Vladimir Grigorev delighted home fans at the Iceberg Skating Palace by finishing first and second in the 1,000 meters short track. Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands came in third.

The victory gives Ahn his second medal of the Sochi Games for his adopted country after picking up a bronze in the 1,500. Ahn previously competed in the Olympics for South Korea before becoming a Russian citizen in 2011.

Olympische Winterspiele 2014 Sotschi Russland Anna Seidel Eisschnellauf

It was a successful debut for the 15-year-old Seidel

China's Zhou defends women's short track title

In the women's short track, China's Zhou Yang defended her Olympic title with a gold medal finish in the 1,500. She edged out 17-year-old South Korean Shin Suk-Hee and Italy's Arianna Fontana.

Fifteen-year-old Anna Seidel of Germany made her debut in the 1,500 on Saturday. Her third-place finish in the opening round earned her a spot in the semifinals. Seidel's semifinal time of 2 minutes 20.405 seconds was only good enough for 17th place overall. However, she broke the German record for the event by 3.375 seconds, previously set by Christin Priebst in 1998.

Skier seriously injured

Six hours of surgery for an injured spine was carried out on Russian freestyle skier Maria Komissarova on Saturday.

She fell during a ski cross training on Friday, fracturing her 12th dorsal vertebrae, according to the Russian freestyle skiing federation.

Doctors in the Olympic ski field of Krasnoya Polyana decided to operate "on the spot" rather than bring her down the mountain to Sochi, it said.

The news agency ITAR-TASS quoted a source as saying the treatment had been "successful."

Numerous crashes have occurred in the snowboard and freestyle skiing events at the Sochi games. In one incident, Canadian snowboarder Yuki Tsubota fractured her jaw when she landed short on a jump.

ipj,dr/tj (AP, Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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