Vonn fails again as Canada brace for Russia

Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:49pm EST
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By Julian Linden

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Martina Sablikova and Marcus Hellner pocketed their second gold medals at the Vancouver Winter Games on Wednesday after Lindsey Vonn crashed out of a second Olympic Alpine skiing event and Canada nervously awaited their sudden-death ice hockey showdown with Russia.

Sablikova of the Czech Republic won the women's 5,000 meters speedskating gold while Hellner led Sweden to a surprise victory in the men's cross country relay in the only two events decided in the day.

Heavy fog at Whistler mountain forced the postponement of the women's giant slalom. The competitors completed the first run but the second run, which will determine the medals, was rescheduled for Thursday morning.

Austrian Elisabeth Goergl was leading France's Taina Barioz by 0.02 seconds after the opening run which saw Vonn, billed as the leading lady of the Games, tumble out of contention.

Merchandisers had been cashing in on her appeal by selling t-shirts and baseball caps with Vonn-Couver emblazoned on them, but she has failed to live up to the hype.

She defied a painful shin injury to win gold in the women's downhill and a bronze in the super-G, but blew her chances of adding to her medal haul by falling in her two other events, including Wednesday's giant slalom.

Vonn came to grief on the opening run when she lost her balance and slammed into the safety netting. She needed some brief medical attention but was not seriously injured.

'PROBABLY MAD AT ME'   Continued...

<p>Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. goes down the piste after crashing out during the first run of the women's alpine skiing Giant Slalom event at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, British Columbia, February 24, 2010. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay</p>