Olympic round up: curling success continues

Switzerland's women celebrate another fine day at the rink Keystone

Switzerland's curlers have kept their Olympic campaign well on track with both the men's and women's teams celebrating further victories on Tuesday.

This content was published on February 13, 2002 - 02:26

Following their opening win over Denmark, Luzia Ebnöther's women made it two out of two against Russia although once again the side from Bern left things late.

Having squandered a 8-4 lead before eventually beating the Danes in an extra end, the Swiss women needed two extra ends on Tuesday to finally see off the Russians.

This time however it was Ebnöther's team who had to come from behind, levelling the scores at 6-6 in the tenth end before stealing the decisive point in the 12th.

Andreas Schwaller's men also maintained their 100 per cent record, following up their win against Norway with a 10-6 victory over Denmark. Leading 6-2 after six ends, the team from Biel survived a spirit fightback from the Danes which had briefly seen the scores level at 6-6.

Two rare mistakes by Danish skip Ulrik Schmidt helped to smooth Switzerland's path to victory.

Big day for Burgermeister

While Switzerland's curlers have established themselves among the world's elite in recent years, the country's cross-country skiers have struggled to make a name for themselves.

On Tuesday, though, an impressive performance by Zurich's Reto Burgermeister put some Swiss pride back into the traditionally nordic sport.

Although never threatening to make the podium, Burgermeister finished the men's 15km classical in ninth position - the best Swiss result in cross-country since Andy Grünenfelder's 50km bronze in 1988.

In the women's 10km classical, canton Ticino's Natascia Leonardi also surpassed expectations by finishing 17th, though she was almost two minutes behind Norwegian gold medal winner Bente Skari.

Leonardi's Swiss team-mate Laurence Rochat had a less satisfactory day. Making her Olympic debut, the 22-year-old from canton Vaud pulled out halfway through the race after reporting breathing difficulties.

Stohr misses moguls final

There was further Swiss disappointment in Tuesday's freestyle skiing action with Christian Stohr failing to make it into the final of the men's moguls. Needing a place among the top 16 to reach the final, the 24-year-old from Engelberg finished 19th in qualifying, missing out by less than half a point.

Currently ranked 39th in the world, Stohr was nevertheless able to look back on the best result of his career so far.

Although no Swiss made it onto the moguls podium, the gold medal did at least go to a Swiss-based skier. A resident of St Gallent for several years, Finland's Janne Lahtela dominated the final with a run that included two four-element jumps, to win ahead of America's Travis Mayer and French veteran Richard Gay.

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