Germany seize medal lead, Canada eye more gold

Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:51pm EST
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By Mary Milliken

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - A little known skier emerged from a foggy giant slalom course to snatch gold for Germany on Thursday and put her country on top of the Olympic medal table, one notch above the United States and hosts Canada.

After weather forced the postponement of the second run on Wednesday, Viktoria Rebensburg weaved her way to the front from a sixth place position after the first leg in another upset for the once all-conquering Austrian ski team at these Winter Games.

Germany now has eight gold medals to seven each for the United States and Canada as day 13 of competition got under way.

That ranking could change during the day, though, as the women of the United States and Canada face off in the ice hockey final, a possible harbinger of what is to come in men's hockey.

Canada also has medal hopes in the women's figure skating final, where six-times Canadian champion Joannie Rochette is third after a short program skated with remarkable courage in the wake of her mother's death earlier in the week.

The Canadian faces stiff competition, however, from two 19-year-olds -- South Korea's Kim Yuna and Japan's Mao Asada.

Canadians savored the spoils of Wednesday -- now coined 'Canada's day' after a redeeming hockey win over Russia in the quarter-finals and a medal haul of one gold, two silvers and a bronze.

"Canada: We Owned the Day," shouted the Vancouver Sun, highlighting that women brought in all the medals on Wednesday, although the men's hockey continues to grab the attention.   Continued...

<p>Gold medallist Germany's Viktoria Rebensburg holds a national flag as she celebrates on the podium during the flower ceremony for the women's alpine skiing giant slalom event at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, British Columbia, February 25, 2010. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger</p>