Canada's Crawford wins gold in sprint
Chandra Crawford upstaged two of her better-known countrywomen and pulled off an upset in the women's 1.1km sprint Wednesday, skating across the finish for Canada's first cross-country gold medal of the Torino Games.
Crawford, with tiny pigtails peeking out of her hat and a huge smile on her face, is hardly her country's biggest star — previously staying out of the spotlight behind Beckie Scott and Sara Renner, silver medalists in the team sprint last Tuesday.
Getty ImagesCanada's Chandra Crawford smiles as she crosses the finish line of the women's sprint final.
The 22-year-old Crawford edged silver medalist Claudia Kuenzel of Germany, while Russia's Alena Sidko took the bronze. Scott was fourth in the four-skier final.
Bjoern Lind of Sweden easily skied to an Olympic gold medal in the men's 1.3km cross-country sprint race Wednesday, taking advantage of rival Tor Arne Hetland's fall in the semifinals.
Lind finished in 2 minutes, 26.5 seconds to beat silver medalist Roddy Darragon of France, who was six-tenths of a second behind. Lind's countryman, Thobias Fredriksson, took the bronze.
American Andy Newell placed second in the 80-man field in morning qualifying and U.S. teammate Chris Cook also advanced to the quarterfinals. Newell placed fourth in his quarterfinal heat and didn't move on — the top two from each quarterfinal advanced to the semifinals.
“I was happy with my second place in the qualifying round but I'm not happy with my result,'' Newell said. “I am satisfied to be in the top 15. I'm looking to 2010 for a medal, though I had a medal in the back of my mind.''