• Germany's news in English

Germany takes skating bronze despite fall

AFP/DPA/The Local · 16 Feb 2010, 07:51

Published: 16 Feb 2010 07:51 GMT+01:00

Germany now has five medals – one gold, three silver and one bronze – leaving them behind the United States on eight medals and just ahead of France on four.

It was a disappointing night for two-time world champions Savchenko and Szolkowy, who were considered strong contenders for gold. Skating to the music “Out of Africa”, they made several errors including a fall that dropped them down to third place.

They finished 5.97 points out of first place, on 210.60 points, giving China a gold-silver double, with Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo taking first place on 216.57 points and Pang Qing and Tong Jian second spot on 213.31.

In front of 11,350 spectators at the Pacific Coliseum, Szolkowy fell while performing a miscued double axle jump. In a separate error, Savchenko attempted a triple axle but only managed a double.

''I'm happy anyway that we've got a medal,'' Savchenko told broadcaster ARD afterwards. ''If the elements don't come together, it's obviously disppointing.''

Szolkowy said: ''I simply wanted too much. But at the Olympics, you really only have one chance and I tried to keep fighting. Now we're consoling one another. When we see the bronze medal on the night table in the morning, we'll be pleased with ourselves.''

Elke Treitz, vice president of the German Ice Skating Union, said: “Our pair were so good this morning in practice. But then it was a long day until the performance.”

Meanwhile, Austria's Nina Reithmayer is threatening to break Germany's domination of the women's singles luge after finishing second following the first two competitive runs on Monday.

The gold medal will be decided on Tuesday after the third and fourth runs with Germany's Tatjana Hüfner ranked first with a combined time of one minute 23.241 sec, but Reithmayer is just 0.05 sec behind her.

Germany's women swept the medals in the luge singles at both Salt Lake City in 2002 and Turin four years ago, but Reithmayer could well break the German monopoly after Felix Loch won the men's singles on Sunday.

"I don't think about (beating the Germans), because we have another hard day tomorrow with two more runs," said the Austrian. "My first run was better than my second, but I'm happy and proud with what I have done, I'm relaxed now."

World champion Erin Hamlin of the United States already looks to be out of contention and lies 15th at 0.813 sec off the pace.

Story continues below…

With the body of Nodar Kumaritashvili being flown home to Georgia on Monday, the mood is still sombre at the Whistler Sliding Centre, where the Georgian died in a training run accident last week.

In other Olympics news, the head of the German Ski Federation's Alpine has complained about paltry crowds at the Winter Games, saying so few turned out for the men's downhill on Monday it might as well have been an event for child racers.

"Compared with Kitzbühel and Wengen (World Cup events) it's like a kid's event," stormed Wolfgang Maier. "I find it all a bit thin for an Olympics. This race is a huge event for North America and then only 8,000 spectators come along.”

AFP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:56 February 17, 2010 by petrag
Has anyone heard the horrible comments made by Mr. Steuer, the former Stasi coach of Savchenko and Szolkowny? Supposedly he stated that he could have done better than they did. I think to earn a medal is amazing. And just to be there is great. Competition is good, but let's not stop enjoying ourselves while competing. May the best athletes win!
Today's headlines
No injuries after blast near Bavarian migrant centre
A sign at the Zirndorf migrant centre. Photo: DPA

A suitcase, likely packed with aerosol cans, has blown up near a migrant centre on the outskirts of Nuremberg, causing no injuries, police confirm.

Not your average student digs: 'amazing' plastic bubble
Photo: DPA

Could this wacky experiment be the future of student housing?

Police settle train violence over smelly feet
Not the feet in question. Photo: Caitlin Regan/Flickr

A fellow passenger's foot odour proved too much for one traveller to stomach.

How Berliners are responding to the Bavaria attacks
Photo: DPA

Is fear of terrorism creeping up on the capital?

Munich gunman was far-right racist: media reports
Photo: DPA

According to research by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung the Munich gunman was proud to have been born on the same day as Hitler and hated Turks and Arabs.

Ansbach suicide attack
Ansbach bomber ‘influenced’ by third person: officials
Photo: DPA

Officials in Bavaria have said that the man who blew himself up in an apparent Islamist attack on Sunday was influenced by an as yet unknown person.

What is the link between the attacks in Germany last week?
Police on guard in Munich. Photo: DPA

And how likely are 'copycat' attacks?

Rights experts call for calm after string of violent attacks
Bavaria has called for soldiers to protect the German border. Photo: DPA

Human rights groups and legal experts are warning the government to react responsibly to the attacks and rampages which have taken place in Germany in recent days.

France church attacker had been arrested in Germany
Photo: DPA

A neighbour described the man as a "ticking time bomb".

Dutch join hunt for German terrorists-turned-outlaws
From left to right: Ernst-Volker Staub, Daniela Klette and Burkhard Garweg. Photo: DPA.

Dutch police on Tuesday told people to be on the lookout for three German far-left militants, at large for decades and suspected of a string of recent heists.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd