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Former Olympic Champ Smirnov Retires

February 4, 1999

YONGPYONG, South Korea (AP) _ Former Olympic and world champion cross-country skier Vladimir Smirnov retired Thursday after being beaten by fellow Kazak Andrey Nevzorov in the men’s 30-kilometer race at Asian Winter Games.

``I have had many good moments. I have no regrets,″ said Smirnov, who won the 50-kilometer gold at the 1994 Winter Olympics at Lillehammer and three golds at the 1995 World Championships.

Smirnov, who also won the bronze in the 30-kilometer classic event at last year’s Olympics at Nagano, had said he was retiring before but had continued to compete. He is 37.

Smirnov on Sunday won the men’s 15-kilometer race. He took another gold in the 40-kilometer relay race with three other Kazaks Tuesday.

Smirnov plans to settle down in Sweden, where his family has been living for several years.

China dominated the games’ action on the ice Thursday.

Song Li took the gold medal in the women’s 1,500-meter speedskating with a clocking of 2 minutes, 8.66 seconds.

Li Chengjiang won the men’s figure skating competition.

And the Chinese women’s hockey team won the gold medal with a 10-2 victory over Kazakstan to finish with a 3-0 record.

After five days of competition, China has collected 12 gold medals, two more than South Korea.

Update hourly