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Norway Wins 3 Skiing Gold Medals

March 10, 1998

NAGANO, Japan (AP) _ Ragnhild Myklebust, Tone Gravvold and Karl Einar Henriksen won cross-country ski races today at the Winter Paralympic Games, putting Norway atop the gold medal standings with 12.

The 54-year-old Myklebust won her third gold medal at these games and 15th in her Paralympic career when she finished the women’s 5-kilometer race for athletes with lower limb disabilities in 19 minutes, 19.9 seconds. She had identical actual and calculated times for her race on a ski-equipped sledge.

Colette Bourgonje of Canada was second in an actual time of 25:38.8 and a calculated time of 21:32.5.

Gravvold, accompanied by guide Frode Nilssen, won the women’s 5-kilometer cross country race for partially sighted athletes in 16:29.3 actual time and 16:09.5 calculated time.

Kaija Tuikkanen of Finland, guided by Hannu Aaltonen, was second in 16:49.6 actual time and 16:29.4 calculated time.

Henriksen won the men’s 10-kilometer sit-ski race for athletes with disabilities in both lower limbs in 40:18.3 actual time and 37:29.0 calculated time.

In the men’s 10-kilometer sit-ski race for athletes with less severe lower limb disabilities, Karl Joki-Erkkila of Finland won in 38:09.6 actual time and 38:09.6 calculated time.

Michael Weymann of Germany was second in 38:47.5. American Robert Balk of Penfield, N.Y.,tied for third place with Teuvo Ojala of Finland in 39:00.3.

In the men’s 10-kilometer race for partially sighted athletes, Irek Mannanov of Russia, guided by Salavat Goumerov, won in 28:23.5 actual time and 27:49.4 calculated time.

Germany’s Frank Hoefle, seeking his third gold medal at these games and 13th in his career, finished second in 28:31.8 actual time and 27:57.5 calculated time.

Meanwhile, Norway beat the United States 2-0 and Canada downed Japan 3-0 in Pool B ice sledge hockey round-robin preliminaries.

Defending champion Norway, with a 2-0 record, and Canada with one victory and one draw, will play a semifinal game Friday.

Behind Norway’s 12, Germany was second in gold medals with 10. Japan and Russia have eight each, and the United States has seven.

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