Paralympians continue gold rush

Heinzmann celebrates his second gold of the Games Keystone

Switzerland have continued their impressive start to the Winter Paralympics, with veteran skier Rolf Heinzmann winning the country's fourth gold medal in three days.

This content was published on March 11, 2002 - 11:17

Less than 24 hours after clinching the gold in the men's downhill ski race, Heinzmann returned to the top of the podium with victory in the super-G, finishing just two hundredths of a second ahead of France's Lionel Brun.

Heinzmann may have difficulty squeezing the latest medal into his bulging trophy cabinet. As well as having two golds from the current games, the 41-year-old father of two boasts no less than eight gold medals and one silver from previous Winter Games.

Worryingly for his rivals, Heinzmann still has two more events to compete in.

Swiss in third place

Heinzmann's second Salt Lake gold was enough to take Switzerland up to third place in the early medal standings behind Norway and runaway leaders Germany.

Several of Heinzmann's compatriots suffered disappointments on Sunday, with four athletes finishing in fourth place.

Having also won gold in his own downhill category, Hans Burn finished surprisingly outside of the medals in the super-G after an unusually high number of errors.

"I know where I made my mistakes, so now I'm just looking ahead to my next races," said the 37-year-old from canton Bern.

Swiss nordic skiers Ruedi Weber, Bruno Huber and Franco Belletti were also just one place away from winning bronze medals, after coming fourth in their respective categories in the men's cross-country sprint.

Toneatti crashes out

Alpine skier Peter Toneatti was lucky to come away unhurt after a dramatic crash in the super-G. The construction engineer from canton Glarus, who competes in one of the sitting categories, was thrown from his monoski after steering into a rut at around 100 kilometres an hour.

Despite landing on his head, the 39-year-old sustained only bruises to his neck and shoulders.

swissinfo with agencies

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