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Neumannova Upset in Cross-Country

February 19, 2002

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MIDWAY, Utah (AP) _ Katerina Neumannova of the Czech Republic, favored to win the women’s 1.5-kilometer sprint Tuesday, was eliminated in the second round of competition.

Neumannova finished last in her heat. Claudia Kuenzel of Germany and Gabriella Paruzzi of Italy advanced to the semifinals.

Also advancing were Beckie Scott of Canada, Anita Moen of Norway, Andreja Mali of Slovenia, Julija Tchepalova of Russia, Evi Sachenbacher of Germany and Sara Renner of Canada.

Athletes ski just under a mile in the sprint, a fast-paced, fan-friendly race making its Olympic debut.

The 58-woman field was narrowed during early morning qualifying. The fastest 16 skiers moved into four elimination heats. The top two skiers from each four-person heat advanced to the semifinals.

The top two skiers in each semifinal then were to advance to the four-person final Tuesday afternoon.

Americans Tessa Benoit, Kikkan Randall and Kristina Joder failed to qualify for the elimination heats.

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