Brit gold at last but hosts try to spoil party

Sat Feb 20, 2010 2:00am EST
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By Mary Milliken

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Amy Williams claimed an extremely rare metal for Britain on Friday -- gold at the Winter Olympics -- on a day when the Norwegians shone even brighter but many other nations seemed to be at each others' throats.

Britain's over-due medal find was Canada's jarring loss and the Games' host nation lodged an appeal over Williams' aerodynamic helmet. The sport's governing body rejected the appeal as it had done with a similar U.S. complaint.

It was one more protest in a spate of challenges among rival nations who could ruin organizers' new upbeat mood, now that initial glitches and weather woes are clearing.

In the past two days, Austria has complained about a Swiss ski jumper's boot bindings and Russia and the United States are bitching at each other over men's skating gold denied to the great Yevgeny Plushenko. Even Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made a dig on that one.

Canada had reason to be disappointed. Home favorite Mellisa Hollingsworth clocked a terrible fourth run and finished a distant fifth with tears running down her face.

Canada did, however, get more than a consolation prize in the men's race when Jon Montgomery upset frontrunner Martins Dukurs in his bid for Latvia's first ever Winter Olympics gold.

Montgomery won by seven one hundredths of a second, less time than a human being takes to blink.

Winter Games stalwart Norway made more headlines for the right reasons on day seven of competition, winning two more golds after becoming on Thursday the first nation to rack up 100 gold medals in the history of the Winter Olympics.   Continued...

<p>Britain's Amy Williams celebrates her gold medal victory in the women's skeleton event at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, British Columbia, February 19, 2010. REUTERS/Tony Gentile</p>