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Nef bronze rescues Swiss skiers

Nef (right) celebrates with silver medallist Anja Pärson Keystone

Sonja Nef has taken bronze in the Winter Olympic giant slalom to ensure that Switzerland's alpine skiers won't be leaving the Games empty-handed.

This content was published on February 22, 2002 - 21:51

After finishing Friday's first run in sixth place, the Swiss giant slalom world champion improved dramatically in her second run to finish just behind Croatia's Janica Kostelic and Sweden's Anja Pärson.

"I'm very happy with the bronze," said Nef immediately afterwards. "Of course I wanted to come here and win the gold, but to have an Olympic medal is just great."

Nef's first ever Olympic medal took Switzerland's tally at the Salt Lake Games to 11, four more than the target originally set by the national Olympic association. Just hours before Nef's third place finish, the Swiss men's curling team had also won bronze to take the Swiss into double figures.

Kostelic, who finished more than a second ahead of both Pärson and Nef, was able to celebrate her third gold and fourth medal overall at the Salt Lake Games.

The 20-year-old Croat, who has battled a recurring knee injury for much of this season, adds the giant slalom victory to her earlier triumphs in the slalom and combined events. Her 'worst' performance of the Games saw Kostelic pick up silver in the super-G.

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