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  • canada sked medal results SLAM!  NAGANO

    Friday, February 20, 1998

    Sykora leads after first run

     SHIGA KOGEN, Japan (AP) -- Thomas Sykora, skiing through thick fog and stinging sleet, had the fastest time on the first run of the men's slalom in a race that included a moderate earthquake.
     The ground shook for about two seconds, rattling a temporary press room near the finish area, during the middle of the first run Saturday morning (Friday night EST).
     Alberto Tomba, seeking to becom the first Alpine skier to win a medal in four consecutive Winter Games, had a poor first run and finished almost two seconds behind Sykora in what almost certainly will be his final Olympic race.
     Sykora, the reigning World Cup slalom champion, completed the run in 55.06 seconds to take a lead of .22 seconds over Norway's Hans-Petter Buraas -- who dyed his hair bright red for the rce.
     Ole Christian Furuseth of Norway was third in 55.53, followed by defending Olympic champion Thomas Stangassinger of Austria in 55.63.
     Tomba, who probably is too far back to win a medal even if he pulls off one of his patented second-run charges, finished in 57.00 -- shaking his head in dismay at the finish line.
     Tomba tumbled off the course on the first run of the giant slalom two days earlier, falling hard on his back.
     "He was still troubled by back pain and he has a light groin strain from the spill he took," said Robert Brunner, an Italian team official. "But he wants to start the second run. He has done wonders in the second run and still wants to do something, but his physical condition is not good."
     Tomba was the 1988 Olympic champion in the slalom and won silver medals in slalom at the 1992 and 1994 games. He also has two gold medals in the giant slalom.
     But he never has skied well in Japan. At the 1993 world championships in Morioka, Japan, he slid off the course on the first leg of the slalom and missed the giant slalom because of food poisoning.
     A huge crowd that included Emperor Akihito cheered wildly as Kiminobu Kimura made his run. Kimura, who had a third-place finish in a World Cup slalom this season, was considered Japan's best hope for an Alpine medal since Chiharu Igaya won silver in the 1956 slalom at Cortina.
     But, despite a chorus of horn-blowing fans and a sign reading "Go! Go! Kimura," he managed a time of just 56.53 on the first run.
     Matt Grosjean of Aliso Viejo, Calif., had a solid first run of 56.58. Bode Miller of Franconia, N.H., finished in 57.52.
     Chip Knight of New Canaan, Conn., fell midway down the course and did not complete the run. Andy LeRoy of Silverthorne, Colo., missed a gate and also did not finish.

     SHIGA KOGEN, Japan (AP) -- Results Saturday after the first run of the men's slalom medal event at the Winter Olympics (Start gate position in parentheses):
     1, (3) Thomas Sykora, Austria, 55.06 seconds.
     2, (7) Hans-Petter Buraas, Norway, 55.28.
     3, (5) Ole Furuseth, Norway, 55.53.
     4, (4) Thomas Stangassinger, Austria, 55.63.
     5, (12) Tom Stiansen, Norway, 55.70.
     6, (1) Finn Jagge, Norway, 56.06.
     7, (9) Pierrick Bourgeat, France, 56.28.
     8, (33) Kalle Palander, Finland, 56.37.
     8, (16) Christian Mayer, Austria, 56.37.
     10, (2) Kiminobu Kimura, Japan, 56.53.
     11, (25) Matthew Grosjean, Aliso Viejo, Calif., 56.58.
     12, (27) Matteo Nana, Italy, 56.59.
     13, (29) Didier Plaschy, Switzerland, 56.67.
     14, (13) Joel Chenal, France, 56.68.
     15, (32) Angelo Weiss, Italy, 56.87.
     16, (8) Sebastien Amiez, France, 56.96.
     17, (6) Alberto Tomba, Italy, 57.00.
     18, (36) Drago Grubelnik, Slovenia, 57.06.
     19, (15) Michael Von Gruenigen, Switzerland, 57.33.
     20, (26) Matjaz Vrhovnik, Slovenia, 57.36.
     21, (38) Andrzej Bachleda, Poland, 57.45.
     22, (39) Bode Miller, Franconia, N.H., 57.52.
     23, (17) Paul Accola, Switzerland, 57.56.
     24, (31) Gaku Hirasawa, Japan, 57.74.
     25, (43) Marcel Maxa, Czech Republic, 57.81.
     26, (42) Thomas Loedler, Croatia, 57.91.
     27, (52) Stefan Georgiev, Bulgaria, 57.95.
     28, (35) Takuya Ishioka, Japan, 58.85.
     29, (51) Peter Ditschev, Bulgaria, 59.62.
     30, (46) Hur Seung, South Korea, 59.94.
     31, (58) Gabriel Hottegindre, Uruguay, 1:01.98.
     32, (56) Sveinn Brynjolfsson, Iceland, 1:03.52.
     33, (57) Alexander Heath, South Africa, 1:06.82.
     34, (62) Arsen Haroutiunian, Armenia, 1:07.51.
     35, (59) Kamil Urumbaev, Uzbekistan, 1:09.55.
     36, (65) Arif Alaftargil, Turkey, 1:12.36.
     37, (63) William Schenker, Puerto Rico, 1:12.95.
     38, (64) Hassan Shemshaki, Iran, 1:13.59.
     NR, (19) Alois Vogl, Germany, DNS.
     NR, (10) Fabrizio Tescari, Italy, DNF.
     NR, (11) Andrej Miklavc, Slovenia, DNF.
     NR, (14) Jure Kosir, Slovenia, DNF.
     NR, (18) Kristinn Bjornsson, Iceland, DNF.
     NR, (20) Martin Hansson, Sweden, DNF.
     NR, (21) Mario Reiter, Austria, DNF.
     NR, (22) Markus Eberle, Germany, DNF.
     NR, (23) Thomas Grandi, Canada, DNF.
     NR, (24) Francois Simond, France, DNF.
     NR, (28) Marco Casanova, Switzerland, DNF.
     NR, (30) Mika Marila, Finland, DNF.
     NR, (34) Chip Knight, New Canaan, Conn., DNF.
     NR, (37) Andy LeRoy, Silverthorne, Colo., DNF.
     NR, (40) Kentaro Minagawa, Japan, DNF.
     NR, (44) Haukur Arnorsson, Iceland, DNF.
     NR, (45) Gerard Escoda, Andorra, DNF.
     NR, (47) Arnor Gunnarsson, Iceland, DNF.
     NR, (48) Lubomir Popov, Bulgaria, DNF.
     NR, (49) Sami Uotila, Finland, DNF.
     NR, (50) Victor Gomez, Andorra, DNF.
     NR, (53) Byon Jong, South Korea, DNF.
     NR, (54) Angel Pumpalov, Bulgaria, DNF.
     NR, (55) Arne Hardenberg, Denmark, DNF.
     NR, (60) Vassilis Dimitriadis, Greece, DNF.
     NR, (61) Levan Abramischvili, Georgia, DNF.
     NR, (66) Andreas Vassili, Cyprus, DNF.
     NR, (41) Alain Baxter, Britain, DQ.