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Germany's women speed skaters take gold - just

AFP/The Local · 28 Feb 2010, 09:42

Published: 28 Feb 2010 09:42 GMT+01:00

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Racing against the US, the 33-year-old stumbled on the final lap before slipping headfirst along the Richmond Oval ice and then crawling across the final 25 metres to get over the line, just 0.23sec ahead of the Americans.

Click here for a photo gallery of Anni Friesinger-Postma's spectacular spill.

In the final, the Japanese team led the Germans for five laps as Stephanie Beckert, Daniela Anschütz Thomas and Katrin Mattscherodt trailed by more than a second.

But in the final 600 metres Germany turned up the heat and crossed the line in 3min 2.82sec to take gold by just 0.02sec.

The Japanese team of Masako Hozumi, Nao Kodaira and Maki Tabata took silver with Poland claiming bronze.

"My feelings are up and down. It was like a carousel. I nearly messed it up," said Friesinger-Postma.

"I thought, 'No, No, I'm falling'. I thought I messed up for the team. I yelled but no one heard me, so I just kept on going."

Story continues below…

In the men's event, Canada's Denny Morrison, Lucas Makowsky and Mathieu Giroux took the pursuit gold, their country's first speed skating medal of the Games.

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AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:32 February 28, 2010 by KBCraig
That's funny... Apolo Ohno won silver in 2002 by crawling across the finish line after a spill.
21:38 February 28, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, the Olympics are all about expectations, as well as surprises. And the outcome each event often is determined by how much a participant wants to win. It happens only once every 4 years and so you give it all you have.

As humans, our very best effort is the purpose of our existence. There is something spiritual about it.
22:27 February 28, 2010 by hanskarl
Well done Anni!! There is nothing more admirable than watching an Olympic athlete with such determination and focus on the finish line. You presence of mind helped to reach the goal and keep the Team in the competition.

All those long hours of arduous physical conditioning also helped to produce the emotional and mental stamina that lead to the ultimate victory. You, the Team and Germany deserve the win!
03:14 March 1, 2010 by DavidtheNorseman
The article is too hard on the woman. She obviously developed a cramp or pulled a muscle but kept going and then hurled herself with everything she had at the finish - winning the race in spite of her difficulties. Honour to her.
17:30 March 2, 2010 by Kertis
I watched on the television as the US came back on Germany in the last lap, I was absolutely amazed to see Anni flagging towards the end and then spill to the ice. Her momentum was such that she slid across the finish line just ahead of the Dreaded Americans.

I applaud your fortitude, Anni, especially thinking to swing your right leg up and try to get the blade across the line before the DAs could cross their line. It was humorous, but it was also very interesting watching the play of emotions across your face, from abject anger at yourself to disbelief when you realized Germany still won, and then joy and a beautiful smile.

You're a winner in many ways.
18:31 March 2, 2010 by Prufrock2010
There should be a rule in speed skating that one has to cross the finish line on one's feet in order to be deemed to have completed the race. Otherwise it's a farce.
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