Three more golds for hosts
Martin's curlers lead the way as Canadian gold rush continues
Last Updated: 01/03/10 12:22am
Martin (R) celebrates his gold
Three more gold medals on Saturday took Canada's haul to 13 and ensured they will end the Vancouver Games with the most golds of all competing nations.
Kevin Martin's curlers, snowboarder Jasey Jay Anderson and the speedskating team pursuit trio of Mathieu Giroux, Lucas Makowsky and Denny Morrison all emerged triumphant on the penultimate day of competition to further delight home fans and there is the prospect of another to come with the men's ice hockey team taking on America in Sunday's final.
Victory there would see them break the record for most golds at a Winter Games, eclipsing the tallies of the Soviet Union in 1976 and Norway in 2002.
Martin guided his team to a deserved 6-3 success over Norway at the Vancouver Olympic Centre, the Canadian skip easily removing a Norwegian stone with his hammer on the 10th and final end to confirm a convincing victory.
Martin later commented: "It's an amazing feeling. I was saying to the guys as we were walking to the podium, it was like we are walking through a dream. Everything has become real."
Earlier in the day, Switzerland had seen off Sweden in a tight encounter to secure the bronze medal, the Swiss team prevailing 5-4.
Meanwhile, victory was particularly sweet for Canada's men as they beat great rivals America in the speedskating team pursuit final.
Morrison, Makowsky and Giroux posted a winning time of three minutes 41.37 seconds for the eight-lap race.
"It is a weight off the shoulders," declared a relieved and jubilant Morrison afterwards. "It is representing Canada. It was amazing."
Sven Kramer featured in the Holland quartet that took the bronze, beating Norway in the third-place race.
Germany's quartet of Daniela Anschutz Thoms, Stephanie Beckert, Anna Friesinger-Postma and Katrin Mattscherodt took the honours in the women's team pursuit final, edging Japan into silver by two-hundreths of a second with Poland clinching the bronze.
Joy for Anderson
Anderson claimed his gold in freestyle skiing's parallel giant slalom in the last event on Cypress Mountain.
The 34-year-old overcame top-ranked Benjamin Karl of Austria by 0.35 seconds, while Mathieu Bozzetto of France took the bronze medal.
The United States did enjoy another gold of their own as Steven Holcomb piloted his crew to victory in the four-man bobsleigh.
The Americans' success denied Germany's Andre Lange a third successive four-man Olympic title and also prevented the two-man champion from a gold double at the notorious Whistler Sliding Center track.
Heading down last, Holcomb produced a clean final run of 51.52 seconds for an overall winning time of three minutes 24.46 seconds, 0.38 seconds faster than Lange's Germans, with CAN1, piloted by Lyndon Rush, in third to claim a bronze for Canada.
Elsewhere there was a gold medal for Justyna Kowalczyk in cross country skiing's ladies 30km mass start, the Pole pushing Norway's Marit Bjoergen into silver medal position with Finn Aino-Kaisa Saarinen taking the bronze.