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German Kraushaar Wins Women's Luge
By John Kekis
Associated Press
Wednesday, February 11, 1998; 2:33 a.m. EST

NAGANO, Japan — In the closest luge race in Olympic history, Germany's Silke Kraushaar edged teammate Barbara Niedernhuber by two-thousandths of a second to win the women's gold medal Wednesday.

Kraushaar finished the four runs in 3 minutes, 23.779 seconds, Niedernhuber was timed in 3:23.781, and Angelika Neuner of Austria took the bronze in 3:24.253.

Four years ago at Lillehammer, Georg Hackl beat Markus Prock by 13 thousandths of a second. This time, after nearly three miles of sliding, the difference was virtually indiscernible.

The United States was shut out of a medal again and now is 0-for-87 in Olympic luge. But Erin Warren, of Winchester, Mass., provided a ray of hope for the future, if she continues in the sport. Warren, of Winchester, Mass., had the race of her life, finishing sixth in 3:25.328.

It was a strong for the 26-year-old Warren, who has had a penchant for wrecking. Warren, who crashed on her first run in her Olympic debut at Lillehammer four years ago, also crashed here last year during the Olympic test event.

But on the first run of competition, she raced into sixth place and stayed there the rest of the way. She was faster each time she went down the twisting, 14-turn Spiral track.

Warren's teammates were right behind. Cammy Myler, of Plattsburgh, N.Y., finished seventh in 3:25.475, and Bethany Calcaterra-McMahon, of Hartford, Conn., finished eighth in 3:25.558.

© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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