Hannah Kearney of the USA during her winning final run in the women's moguls.
Hannah Kearney of the USA during her winning final run in the women's moguls.

Canada pipped for elusive gold

Hannah Kearney, the freestyle skier, struck gold for the USA with a thrilling final run in the women's moguls on Cypress Mountain to frustrate Canada's hopes of winning their first home gold medal on the opening day of competition at the Winter Olympics. Canada's reigning Olympic champion, Jennifer Heil, had the home crowd in raptures with a storming second run that put her in the lead with just Kearney left to race.

But 23-year-old Kearney held her nerve to take the gold with a combined score of 26.63 and ensure that Canada's dubious distinction of being the only nation to never win a gold medal on home soil continues for a while longer. Kearney said: "I heard the roar of the crowd when Jenn got her score so I knew I had to go for it." The Canadians could not deliver gold at the 1976 summer Games in Montreal or in the 1988 winter Games in Calgary and Kearney's heroics prevented Heil from being the one to make history.

She had to settle for silver with a score of 25.69 while Kearney's USA teammate, Shannon Bahrke, claimed the bronze with a score of 25.43. Heil said: "All I can say is that a gold medal is coming soon. I'm so proud of all the other athletes and I'll be there cheering them on." In other first-day action, South Korea's Lee Jung-Su took the gold in a thrilling short track speed skating men's 1500-metre final at Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum.

It looked like a Korean clean sweep on the final lap but Lee's team-mates Lee Ho-Suk and Sung Si-Bak fell at the last bend, enabling the American duo of Ohno Apolo Anton and JR Celski to take the silver and bronze medals. All eyes were on the Whistler Sliding Centre for the first day of the men's luge following the tragic death of Georgia's Nodar Kumaritashvili in training on Friday. Track modifications included a switch to the women's start ramp and a reconfigured final curve and raised wall.

Kumaritashvili's Georgian team-mate Levan Gureshidze did not compete and it was Felix Loch, of Germany, who led at the halfway stage of the competition with his countryman David Moller second and Armin Zoggeler, the Italian double Olympic champion, in third. Switzerland's Simon Ammann produced a giant final-round jump of 108 metres to claim the first gold medal of the Games in the men's ski jumping competition at Whistler Olympic Park.

Poland's Adam Malysz took the silver and Austria's Gregor Schlierenzauer claimed the bronze. Ammann, whose winning points total was 276.5, had led after the first round and the 28-year-old held his nerve brilliantly to produce the biggest jump of the competition and secure gold. Ammann said: "Life does not always go the way you want it to. "This is why I want to cherish the moments and I've had a lot of luck in my career and also today."

Holland's Sven Kramer won the first medal on ice, taking gold in the 5,000m speed skating with an Olympic record time. Kramer took the title at the Richmond Olympic Oval in a time of 6 mins 14.60 secs, 2.35 seconds ahead of South Korea's Lee Seung-Hoon. Slovakia's Anastazia Kuzmina took the gold medal in the women's biathlon 7.5km sprint, while Canada opened their women's ice hockey campaign with a record-breaking 18-0 rout of Slovakia.

In the opening group match Sweden, the silver medallists in Turin four years ago, were comfortable 3-0 winners over Switzerland. * With agencies

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
The biog

First Job: Abu Dhabi Department of Petroleum in 1974  
Current role: Chairperson of Al Maskari Holding since 2008
Career high: Regularly cited on Forbes list of 100 most powerful Arab Businesswomen
Achievement: Helped establish Al Maskari Medical Centre in 1969 in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region
Future plan: Will now concentrate on her charitable work


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Neymar (69'), Firmino (90'+3)    

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE. 

Read part four: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part three: the age of the electric vehicle begins

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 


Punjabi Legends 
Owners: Inzamam-ul-Haq and Intizar-ul-Haq; Key player: Misbah-ul-Haq
Pakhtoons Owners: Habib Khan and Tajuddin Khan; Key player: Shahid Afridi
Maratha Arabians Owners: Sohail Khan, Ali Tumbi, Parvez Khan; Key player: Virender Sehwag
Bangla Tigers Owners: Shirajuddin Alam, Yasin Choudhary, Neelesh Bhatnager, Anis and Rizwan Sajan; Key player: TBC
Colombo Lions Owners: Sri Lanka Cricket; Key player: TBC
Kerala Kings Owners: Hussain Adam Ali and Shafi Ul Mulk; Key player: Eoin Morgan

Venue Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Format 10 overs per side, matches last for 90 minutes
Timeline October 25: Around 120 players to be entered into a draft, to be held in Dubai; December 21: Matches start; December 24: Finals

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High fever (40°C/104°F)
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The specs

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Transmission: eight-speed auto
Power: 285hp
Torque: 353Nm
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