Austrian men finally get their Olympic gold in Alpine skiing; Dorfmeister wins again

Benjamin Raich finally gave Austria its Olympic gold medal in men's Alpine skiing at this year's Winter Games.

About an hour later, Austrian teammate Michaela Dorfmeister won her second.

Later Monday, under lights in the Italian Alps, the Austrian men's ski jumping team made it three golds for the day.

The victories provided welcome relief for a nation whose Olympics has been overshadowed by a doping scandal swirling around its Nordic team.

Raich, the overall World Cup leader, won the men's giant slalom Monday with a two-run combined time of 2 minutes, 35.00 seconds to give the Austrian men's team a gold medal in the next-to-last Alpine event.

Hermann Maier, who won the giant slalom at his last Olympics in 1998 at the Nagano Games, took bronze, finishing .16 behind his teammate. Joel Chenal of France got silver, .07 seconds slower than Raich.

Raich, who won the last two World Cup giant slalom races before the games, was fifth after the opening leg but won the gold with a brilliant second effort.

"This makes me extremely happy," Raich said. "The Olympic victory was my greatest goal."

Dorfmeister, who also won the opening downhill last week, crossed the finish line in 1:32.47, edging Janica Kostelic by .27 seconds. Alexandra Meissnitzer of Austria was third in 1:33.06.

"I'm flying like an angel," Dorfmeister said. "I go home from these Olympics with two medals and they are both gold. It's unbelievable. It's the top to finish my career like this."

Kostelic won her fourth Olympic gold medal Saturday in the women's combined  her first three came four years ago in Salt Lake City. She also has won two silvers both in the super-G to become the most decorated woman in Olympic Alpine skiing history. She still has two events to go in Turin.

The Austrian and American teams came into the Olympics as the best in the world, but the rivalry has flopped, reports AP.


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