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Petrenko leads, Wylie shines, Browning falls

Paul Wylie turned in the surprise of Thursday night's original program and kept U.S. medal hopes alive in men's figure skating despite the struggles of national champion Christopher Bowman and former national champion Todd Eldredge.

Wylie was third behind Viktor Petrenko of the Unified Team and Petr Barna of Czechoslovakia. Bowman was seventh and Eldredge ninth.

Three-time world champion Kurt Browning was fourth after a fall on his triple axel. He must win Saturday's free skate and have Petrenko finish below second to take Canada's first men's figure skating gold.

Wylie, 10th in the 1988 Olympics and the self-described "old man" of the U.S. team at 27, said: "Everyone has said from here is just the frosting on the cake. I decided I really like frosting."


Norway's Ulvang wins again

LES SAISIES, France _ Norway's Vegard "the Viking" Ulvang turned to America for help and became the Games' first double-gold medalist with a win in Olympic cross-country skiing's newest event.

Ulvang left the wax off his skis, a method pioneered by U.S. skier Bill Koch, and won the men's 10-kilometer race, the first leg of the new, two-day pursuit.

Two hours later, Lyubov Egorova of the Unified Team came within 0.9 seconds of joining him as a double-gold winner. She finished behind Marjut Lukkarinen in the 5K, also the first leg of a pursuit event.


Skater follows Zamboni, wins

ALBERTVILLE, France _ In steady rain and soft ice, Norway's Geir Karlstad won the men's 5,000 meters in 6 minutes, 59.97 seconds.

Eric Flaim, who finished fourth in the 5,000 at Calgary in 1988, was the top American skater, sixth at 7:11.15.

Karlstad, 26, racing just after the Zamboni machine resurfaced the ice, skated consistent laps of just over 33 seconds.


Kronberger wins combined

MERIBEL, France _ Petra Kronberger, first in the downhill portion of the combined event Wednesday, gave Austria a gold medal by placing third in the slalom.

Teammate and defending champion Anita Wachter, who took the silver, was faster in the two slalom runs than Kronberger, but the margin of only .09 seconds wasn't nearly enough to make up for the 1.41-second gap in the downhill.

Krista Schmidinger of Lee, Mass., second in the downhill, struggled to 14th in the slalom and was 11th overall.