Debbie McCormick pulled herself out of the fourth position yesterday and was set to throw third stone for a night match against defending champion Sweden. Coach Wally Henry, McCormick's father, confirmed the move after a team meeting following a 9-2 loss to Canada in a morning game.
Henry is McCormick's longtime coach and they have always worked hard to keep their personal relationship off the ice. He said McCormick's teammates embraced her team-first gesture, and he thinks it will take some pressure off the three-time Olympian until she gets her feel again. "She's disappointed and we feel strongly she will pull out of it," Henry said.
Wust wins gold again
Coasting in the practice lane, Ireen Wust realized she had another gold while the last two skaters were still on the track. The Dutch woman pumped her arms toward the roof while a stunned home crowd watched favorite Christine Nesbitt labor across the finish line.
With an astonishing final lap, Wust answered all those who questioned her success four years ago by winning gold in the 1,500 meters.
Canada had two strong medal contenders in Nesbitt and Kristina Groves. But Nesbitt, winner of the 1,000, burned herself out and had nothing left for the final lap, fading to a disappointing sixth-place finish.
Russian drought over
Evgeny Ustyugov won Russia's first gold medal in a men's Olympic biathlon race in 16 years when he captured the 15-kilometer mass start race, atoning for poor shooting and sluggish skiing in his previous three races.
Ustyugov shot cleanly to finish in 35 minutes, 35.7 seconds, beating Martin Fourcade of France by 10.5 seconds. Pavol Hurajt of Slovakia won the bronze.- AP