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Rebensburg wins giant slalom; Canada's ice hockey triumph

  • NEW: Canada win women's ice hockey gold beating U.S. 2-0 in final
  • Viktoria Rebensburg claims gold in women's giant slalom at Winter Games
  • Bill Demong leads United States 1-2 in nordic combined event on the big hill
  • Marit Bjoergen wins her third gold medal of the Winter Games in cross country skiing

(CNN) -- Young German skier Viktoria Rebensburg sprung a huge upset as she claimed gold in the the weather-delayed women's giant slalom at Whistler Creekside on Thursday.

The 20-year-old former world junior champion edged out Slovenia's Tina Maze by just 0.04 seconds over the two runs, with overnight leader Elisabeth Goergl of Austria taking the bronze medal.

Rebensburg finished with a a combined time of two minute 27.11 seconds and could scarcely believe she had claimed Olympic gold.

"I did not expect my medal, I never thought it was going to happen," said Rebensburg who had served notice of her potential with a second-placed finish in a World Cup giant slalom event in Italy this season.

Her gold took temporarily took Germany to the top of the medals table ahead of the United States on the 14th day of the Vancouver Winter Games.

Rebensburg said she had been inspired by the performances of teammate Maria Reisch, who claimed super-combined gold earlier in the Games.

I did not expect my medal, I never thought it was going to happen
--Viktoria Rebensburg

"She is number one on our team, and it is good for us who are a little bit younger. She achieved a lot, so for us the pressure is not so high," she added.

Maze was adding to her super-G silver while Goergl was matching her bronze from the downhill, the only medals the Austrian alpine ski team has won in Canada.

Goergl had led from Wednesday when most of the headlines were reserved for the crash involving American Lindsey Vonn which held up the first run of her teammate Julia Mancuso, who had to start again and finished off the pace.

Mancuso made up time on Thursday but could only finish in eighth place, 0.55 seconds adrift of the winner.

Afterwards she played down talks of a rift between herself and Vonn, who has grabbed many of the headlines both before and at the Games.

"I think it's been taken really out of proportion," she said.

"She (Vonn) is one of the greatest skiers ever."

"We have gotten to these Games in totally opposite ways -- I am sure that fuels the fire even more."

Nordic combined

Bill Demong's later gold in the men's nordic combined took the U.S. level with Germany on eight golds and ahead on overall medals tally.

The experienced Demong saw off fellow American Johnny Spillane by four seconds in the concluding 10km cross country skiing. Bernhard Gruber of Austria took the bronze.

Spillane had also taken silver earlier in the Games in the nordic combined event which used the normal hill for the ski-jumping and had to give best again as the bigger hill was used for the ski-jumping on Thursday.

But Demong, who anchored the U.S. to silver in the team event, said his teammate had inspired their fine performance.

"What started it off was Johnny's silver," he said.

Cross-country skiing

Norway's Marit Bjoergen claimed her third gold medal of the Games by anchoring her country to the women's 4x5km relay title with Germany taking silver and Finland in bronze.

Bjoergen had already won the sprint classic final and the pursuit, as well picking up a bronze in the 10km free event.

Ice hockey

Hosts Canada triumphed in the women's ice hockey final with a 2-0 win over arch-rivals the United States at a packed Ice Hockey Palace.

Two first- period goals from Marie-Philip Poulin gave Canada a deserved victory and they went through the competition undefeated. It was partial revenge for a 5-3 defeat inflicted on Canada's men by the U.S. earlier in the Games.

Members of the Canadian team supported their female counterparts and could get revenge over the U.S. if both can win their semifinal games on Friday.

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