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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Koss Strikes for Norway, as Harding Arrives

LILLEHAMMER, Norway -- Norwegian speedskater Johann Olav Koss measured triumph Wednesday by the fraction of a second he shaved off the world record in the men's 1,500. For Tonya Harding, it was a measure of victory just to arrive at the Lillehammer Games.

Harding flew over 8,000 kilometers from her home in Portland, Oregon, to Norway, the latest step in the troubled skater's heavily publicized fight to skate in the Winter Olympics after suspicion she was involved in an attack on Nancy Kerrigan, the other American Olympic women's figure skating entrant.

"I feel great," she said. "I'm ready."

Thanks to Koss, who won his second gold of the Games, and freestyle skier Stine Lise Hattestad, host Norway kept pace with the leading Russians in the Lillehammer medals race. But Koss' gold brought Norway's all-time Winter Olympic medal tally to an unsurpassed 195.

Norway, considered the cradle of winter sport, finally overhauled the target of 194 set by the former Soviet Union before the super power's disintegration in 1991.

Italian luger Gerda Weissensteiner and Canadian moguls specialist Jean-Luc Brassard also struck gold on the fifth day of the Games.

Koss, 25, who broke his own world record in the 5,000 three days ago, clocked one minute, 51.29 seconds in Wednesday's 1,500 at Hamar's Viking Hall. That broke the 1:51.60 mark his rival, Rintje Ritsma of the Netherlands, set at the European championships at the same Hamar oval last month. Ritsma only managed 1:51.99 Wednesday in taking silver. Fellow Dutchman Falko Zandstra won bronze.

Weissensteiner, a farmer's daughter from the Tyrolean Alps, captured Italy's second gold medal of the Games, dominating all four runs of the women's luge. Germany's Susi Erdmann took silver. Andrea Tagwerker of Austria won bronze.

Brassard and Hattestad unseated the reigning Olympic champions to win the men' and women's freestyle-skiing moguls events.

Hattestad, 27, who has concentrated on improving her jumps since winning a moguls bronze at Albertville in 1992, edged Liz McIntyre of the United States, with a faster time down the bumpy Kanthaugen course and the best points total of 25.97. McIntyre, who finished first in Tuesday's qualifying round, won silver, and Russia's Elizaveta Kojevnikova, the 1992 silver medalist, had to settle for the bronze.

In earning Canada's first gold medal of the Games, Brassard executed two perfect jumps and received maximum scores of 5.00 from four of the style judges. He wound up with 27.24 points, with 26.90 for second-place finisher Sergei Shoupletsov of Russia. Although he was faster over the dips and bump, defending champion Edgar Grospiron of France had to settle for bronze with 26.64 points.

In Wednesday's ice hockey action, Russia came storming back from their shutout by Finland on Mondayby crushing an overmatched Austrian side 9-1.