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US lands Olympics gold in strong women's showing

Unheralded Debbie Armstrong won the gold medal in the women's giant slalom and Christin Cooper captured the silver Monday in the best one-race performance by American skiers in Olympic history. The United States narrowly missed a clean sweep, as Tamara McKinney finished fourth behind bronze medal winner Perrine Pelen of France.

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Cooper and McKinney had been among the pre-race favorites, but Armstrong, only a second-year member of the US team, from whom little was expected here, was a big surprise. She was second to Cooper after the first run, but outskied her teammate the next time down the course to beat her out by four-tenths of a second overall. McKinney, in eighth place after a so-so first run, had the fastest time on the second run but could only move up to fourth.

The gold medal was the first for the US at the 1984 Winter Games, coming just a few hours after the nation broke its four-day medal drought with a silver for Kitty and Peter Carruthers in the pairs figure skating competition.

In other competition Monday, East Germans Karin Enke and Andrea Schone and the Soviet Union's Natalia Petruseva finished 1-2-3 in the women's 1,000-meter speed-skating event, just as they had in the 1,500 four days earlier.

Gunde Svan of Sweden won the men's 15-kilometer cross-country race, with Finns Aki Karvonen and Harri Kirvesniemi second and third.

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