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 . world ski news
15 February 2006 - 15:33
OLYMPIC DAY 4
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Alpine skiing: Ligety finds gold under floodlights

SESTRIERE, Italy, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Ted Ligety's U.S. team mates almost mobbed him the moment he made sure of an Olympic Alpine skiing combined medal. Yet they held off.


Ted Ligety of the United States skis to the gold medal during the second slalom run of the Men's Combined at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Sestriere Colle, Italy, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2006. (AP Photo/Thomas Kienzle)

Something in the cold night air told them that the 21-year-old from Park City, Utah, who has yet to win anything on the World Cup circuit, was heading somewhere very special under the Sestriere floodlights.

"I looked at Mac (Scott Macartney) and we were just like 'We have to mob him, man'," said exultant room mate Steven Nyman. "I wanted to mob him when he was guaranteed a medal and Mac said, 'Wait until he gets gold'.

"And right when Benni (Austrian Benjamin Raich) hooked, we just took off running."

Raich, the world champion, stood at the start hut as the only man between Ligety and the gold after Croatian Ivica Kostelic had failed to beat the American's time. The tall Austrian hurled himself down the piste and straddled a gate.


SESTRIERE COLLE, ITALY - FEBRUARY 14: (FRANCE OUT) Ivica Kostelic of Croatia competes in the second run of the Slalom section of the Mens Combined Alpine Skiing competition on Day 4 of the 2006 Turin Winter Olympic Games on February 14, 2006 in Sestriere Colle, Italy. (Photo by Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

It was the cue for American jubilation as Ligety was submerged by his team mates.

"The expression on his face was great, I don't think he could even believe it. We tried to pound home the fact that he just won a gold medal. We gave him a good tackle," said Nyman.


SESTRIERE BORGATA, ITALY - FEBRUARY 14: Stefan Georgiev of Bulgaria competes in the Slalom section of the Mens Combined Alpine Skiing competition on Day 4 of the 2006 Turin Winter Olympic Games on February 14, 2006 in Sestriere Colle, Italy. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The sight of the three team mates piled on top of each other in the snow, before Ligety was hoisted on their shoulders and paraded around, was the perfect antidote to the shock of seeing showman Bode Miller disqualified in the first slalom leg.

GREAT DAY

Ligety, who paid tribute to his parents for funding his skiing career, had been with overall World Cup champion Miller when the bad news filtered through that he had straddled a gate. Miller was leading at that point.

"We both kind of looked at each other," he said, his voice hoarse with a sore throat thet crept up on him on Monday. "I was pretty bummed for him, you never want to see a team mate go down that way.

"I don't think there would have been any way I could have surmounted him today. So I guess it's kind of lucky on my part but that's not how I want to be winning races. I want to be winning because I beat people skiing."

Ligety, whose best previous result was second in a slalom in Adelboden, Switzerland, last month, said he had felt a medal was in grasp only after the first leg of the slalom when he was in third place.

"I didn't really think I was going to get a gold at any point," he said.

"I didn't think I would get a gold until Benni went out, which is unfortunate for him. It's definitely a surprise all over the place, for sure."

For him maybe, but not for his team mates. Nyman had warned anyone who would listen after the downhill that Ligety was the man and he was right.

"It's a great day for the Americans, Ted stepped up in a big way," he said.

"He is just the best slalom skier in the world. He is incredible, so far ahead of people right now. If he has a clean course, he can just lay the smackdown and show them how to ski. He is incredible.

"I knew the kid would have a medal, I called that yesterday. I've been saying for a few days 'watch out for Ted' because he can beat anyone in slalom by seconds a run."

By Alan Baldwin
Updated on Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006

***

Alpine skiing: Miller left empty-handed again

SESTRIERE, Italy (Reuters) - Alpine skiing showman Bode Miller failed to medal for the second race in a row at the Winter Olympics on Tuesday.

The outspoken U.S. all-rounder, one of the big draws of the winter circus, was disqualified from the combined event for straddling one of the 56 gates in the first slalom leg.


SESTRIERE BORGATA, ITALY - FEBRUARY 14: Stefan Georgiev of Bulgaria falls while competing in the Slalom section of the Mens Combined Alpine Skiing competition on Day 4 of the 2006 Turin Winter Olympic Games on February 14, 2006 in Sestriere Colle, Italy. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Until then he had been a hot contender for gold, dominating the downhill leg and leading Austrian rival Benjamin Raich by nearly a second on the scoreboard before an asterisk against his name highlighted the problem.

Miller put a brave face on the situation.

"I don't really tend to get that disappointed," he said, surrounded by a crush of reporters. "At least I don't have to go all the way down to Torino tomorrow (for the medal ceremony)."

Miller said U.S. Alpine skiing head Jesse Hunt had looked at the video and confirmed his error.

"If it's clear, it's clear. It's not the first time I've hooked a tip. I've straddled probably more times than most people have finished slaloms," said the 2002 Olympic silver medallist.

"Obviously it's a drag but the downhill was good and I made it to the finish...that's at least half the battle for me," he added.

Miller said he did not know which gate he had straddled, because he had not felt a thing, but suspected it must have been on the lower part of the course.

"It (the gate) didn't kick my ski, it didn't do anything, you just go straight over it," he said.

SUFFICIENTLY PREPARED

Miller, who is living in his own motorhome in Sestriere away from the athletes' village, said he was sufficiently prepared for the Games.

"Obviously I was in a position to win by a significant amount, even with really pretty poor skiing in the first run, so I think I'm prepared to ski well in all the events I'm in.

"It's just a matter of execution. You still have to execute, even if you are absolutely prepared," added the New Hampshire skier, who has three more races to come.

Miller, who finished fifth in Sunday's individual downhill, said he had skied badly rather than conservatively in the combined slalom.

He said he and others had been 'psyched out' by the conditions on the inspection course which were far icier than the race piste.

"It's unbelievably hard over there, like a hockey rink, and we were all just skiing horribly and kept getting more and more aggressive on our skis," he said.

"I got to the race course and came out of the gate just really ready to be jumping on the skis and ready for evasive maneuvers and it was absolutely unnecessary. It was in much better condition, icy but not super slick.

"I kept making bobbles and couldn't find a rhythm. I just definitely felt I didn't have much movement in my turns."

By Alan Baldwin
Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006


SESTRIERE BORGATA, ITALY - FEBRUARY 10: Stefan Georgiev of Bulgaria skis in the Men's Downhill training during the day of the Opening Ceremony of the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games on February 10, 2006 in Sestriere Borgata, Italy. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)


SESTRIERE BORGATA, ITALY - FEBRUARY 10: Mihail Sediankov of Bulgaria skis in the Men's Downhill training during the day of the Opening Ceremony of the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games on February 10, 2006 in Sestriere Borgata, Italy. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

***

Olympic News: Athletes pick roses and Venice for Valentines

TURIN (Reuters) - With so much energy going into racing there's not much time for romance at the Olympics

But athletes and fans were still finding ways to celebrate Valentine's Day on Tuesday with bunches of roses being presented to skiers, parties planned for the evening and trips to Italy's sweet spots for those who have already competed.

At the training run for the women's downhill, Austrian Michaela Dorfmeister walked out of the arrivals ring with three bouquets of flowers.

"The first one is from the chief of Atomic skis, the second one from Austrian television and the third one I don't know. It looks like some men are looking at me -- it's nice, a big compliment," she said.

Despite being in a country known for its romance -- even the policemen checking bags at the Olympics greet you with a flirty "Ciao, bella" -- there is not much time for long candlelit dinners at the Games, with some events going on until midnight.

American figure skaters Rena Inoue and John Baldwin were the lucky ones, finishing their event on February 13, just in time for Baldwin to whisk his partner on and off the ice to Venice for a holiday of love.

"Valentine's Day is going to be great. We're here in Italy, close enough to go to Venice for a couple of days. The rest is personal," Baldwin said.

Athletes' villages and hospitality houses set up by different countries were planning their own parties while bookstore Fnac was handing out free condoms in Turin.

But while fans party away, most athletes will probably follow the example of Chemmy Alcott, due to compete in the women's downhill on Wednesday.

"No boys in my room tonight," the British skier said. "I need to stay focused."

By Jane Barrett
Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006

***

Cross-Country: Double gold for Sweden

PRAGELATO, Italy (Reuters) - Sweden won their first Winter Olympic gold medals for 12 years on Tuesday when their men and women triumphed within 20 minutes of each other in the cross-country skiing team sprints.

Former world sprint champion Thobias Fredriksson and team mate Bjoern Lind surged to victory in the men's race just after Anna Dahlberg and Lina Andersson had triumphed in the women's.

They were Sweden's first medals of any color at these Games and made up for the disappointment of Nagano in 1998 and Salt Lake City in 2002 when, unusually for one of the traditional powers of winter sport, they failed to win a single gold.

The last time a Swede won gold in cross-country skiing was at the 1988 Games and the last Swedish woman to win gold in the discipline was Toini Gustafsson, 38 years ago in Grenoble.

"Two golds for Sweden. We couldn't ask for any more," said Fredriksson, who shook off a fever on the eve of the Games to take part. "The sun is shining on us today."

Lind said he and his teammate had been pepped up by the success of the women.

"We saw Lina cross the line first and Thobias and I just stood and screamed with joy," he said. "But we didn't have much time to celebrate. We had to quickly concentrate on our race."

Norway's Jens Arne Svartedal had to settle for a silver medal on his 30th birthday, as did Canada's Sara Renner, whose ski pole broke on the third lap of the six-lap women's race.

A Norwegian at the side of the track handed her another one but it was too long, and it was not until the next change-over that Renner, wife of former Canadian Alpine skier Thomas Grandi, could pick up a proper replacement.

"I don't know what happened," she said. "It's not the best thing to happen but at the same time you can't just give up."

The young Russian pairing of Ivan Alypov and reigning sprint world champion Vassili Rotchev took bronze in the men's race while in the women's it went to Aino Kaisa Saarinen and Virpi Kuitunen of Finland.

BJOERGEN MISSES OUT

The biggest upset of the day was the failure of Norway's Marit Bjoergen to make the podium.

She and team mate Ella Gjomle trailed in fourth, compounding a poor Olympics for the woman who has dominated the discipline since the last Games.

Bjoergen, winner of the sprint World Cup title for three years running from 2003 to 2005, had already pulled out of her opening race, Sunday's 15-km pursuit, with stomach pains.

She had a bout of bronchitis on the eve of the Games and, while her team insists she has recovered, looks to be struggling for form ahead of the remaining four events.

Germany's Evi Sachenbacher Stehle, cleared to race after serving a five-day suspension for having an abnormally high red blood cell count, came fifth with team mate Viola Bauer.

In the team sprint, two athletes from each team each race three laps of the track in alternation, tagging each other at the end of each lap, as in a relay.

The skiers must race in the classical style, with skis parallel. The total distance raced in the men's event is 7.8 km and in the women's 6.6 km.

By Gideon Long
(Additional reporting by Mark Meadows)
Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006

***

Snowboarding: American pipe - U.S. snowboarders dominate again

BARDONECCHIA, Italy (AP) -- When it comes to snowboarding, the Olympics are America's halfpipe and the rest of the world is just shredding in it.

That point was driven home again Monday, when Americans Hannah Teter won gold and Gretchen Bleiler won silver, adding more hardware to the two medals the U.S. men won the day before.

"USA. Representing," Bleiler said. "We're doing a good job. That's about all I can say."

Were it not for Norway's Kjersti Buaas throwing the run of her life, the Americans would have earned the sweep they almost had when Shaun White, Danny Kass and Mason Aguirre finished 1-2-4.

But Buass' run was worth the bronze and when Kelly Clark, the 2002 Olympic champion, slipped after her final jump -- a tough, 900-degree spin -- in an attempt to make the medal stand, she wound up 0.9 points short of third.

"All of Europe is depending on me," Buaas said before taking off for her final run. "I got speed and tried to go big because they have so many tricks and I don't."

Indeed, at times, it really does seem unfair -- Americans dominating a sport born and raised in their country and constantly refined there, too.

The move from fringe lifestyle sport to mainstream really took off in 2002, when the American men swept the halfpipe medals at the Salt Lake City Games, the first time the United States had done that in any winter sport in 46 years. That brought about a whole new wave of shredders -- snowboarding's classic catch-all metaphor for powering through powder and tearing up halfpipes.

"I remember going to get my hair done" a few weeks after the U.S. sweep, Bleiler said. "The 60-year-old women in the salon were in there talking about snowboarding. It's not a cutthroat sport at all. We're all cheering each other on. Together, we're progressing the sport."

When Clark, Bleiler and Teter finished 1-2-3 in qualifying, it became clear the sweep would be America's to lose. Clark flew higher than anyone off the halfpipe, while Bleiler's landings were smoother and Teter's tricks were more tweaked up than anyone's.

Riding with the cords from her iPod dangling about, Teter scored a 44.6 on her first run to take the lead, an advantage that none of the other 11 riders could match.

It made her second trip, soaring through the pipe and into the sunshine of the Italian Alps, a victory lap -- just like White's the day before. After bouncing up and down and jiggling her legs at the top, she raised her hands, then scored a 46.4 on the strength of a frontside 540 followed by a frontside 900.

"I just kind of felt the same standing up there," Teter said. "It's like, 'Here we go again, another run on the pipe -- but at the Olympics.' I just felt super positive."

The story of the top two finishers could easily be labeled, "Beauty and the Geek."

The 24-year-old Bleiler is no stranger to sexy photo shoots and could probably find a career in modeling when the snowboarding is over.

But cocky, she is not.

Her motivation for these Olympics came from the heartbreak of 2002, when she tied for the final spot on the Olympic team but lost out on the third tiebreaker. It made her journey to this point, and the success she finally enjoyed, a nerve-racking ride with a sweet conclusion.

"I get so nervous, and especially for this event," Bleiler said. "I told my coach, `I don't want to care this much. I don't want to care this much.' But that's what happens when you work for a goal your entire life."

Teter, meanwhile, is an unabashed goofball, all giggles, full of mumbled, stream-of-conciousness answers.

The 19-year-old lists one of her favorite hobbies as making syrup out of sap from trees near her home in Vermont. She was born and raised among a family that loved shredding. Her two brothers also are on the U.S. snowboard team and the oldest manages what they call Team Teter. Teter says her competitive spirit came from hangin' with the boys -- jumping on the trampoline, seeing who can hold their breath the longest underwater.

She plans to staple her new gold medal to the wall of the playhouse where she and her brothers hang out.

"I'm gonna staple it in with a real staplegun," she said.

And how will being an Olympic champion change her life?

"Maybe I'll get to buy a boat," she said. "I'm still going to be laid back. I'm still going to be grateful."

Though the athletes have taken different paths to this point, they were similar in that they both chose to skip the X Games last month to better prepare for the Olympics. No snowboarder would have thought to do that 10 years ago.

"The Olympics is the biggest event, period," Bleiler said. "The X Games are the biggest event in snowboarding."

And the United States is best in both -- a conclusion nobody can deny and one the Americans don't shirk from, even though it's a sport that proclaims to be more about camaraderie than competition.

It's easier, of course, to say that when you're winning everything.

"We definitely get in other teams' heads," U.S. snowboarding coach Bud Keene said. "When we come into a halfpipe competition, we're rolling in like a freight train.

"You see the way they ride -- it's head and shoulders above the rest of the competitors."

By EDDIE PELLS, AP National Writer
Monday, Feb 13, 2006

***

Snowboarding: Americans Bleiler, Teter go 1-2 in halfpipe; skier Kildow hurt

TORINO, Italy (Ticker) - While United States downhillers can't seem to catch a break, American snowboarders seemingly can do no wrong.

Snowboarders Hannah Teter and Gretchen Bleiler on Monday finished 1-2 in the women's halfpipe.

Teter earned a score of 44.6 for her first of two runs, which would have been good enough for gold, but she topped that with a 46.4 on her second attempt. Bleiler was second after the first run with a 41.5 and remained there after receiving a 43.4 on her second.

Kjersti Buaas of Norway prevented a United States sweep by claiming bronze with a score of 42.0 on her second run. American Kelly Clark had been third with a 41.1 after her first run but was passed by Buaas to finish fourth.

The performances came one day after Shaun White and Danny Kass earned gold and silver, respectively, in the men's halfpipe.

However, Lindsey Kildow, a medal threat in the women's downhill, crashed during her second training run and was airlifted to a local hospital.

A two-time Olympian, Kildow had posted the second-fastest training run Sunday.

On Sunday, men's downhillers Bode Miller and Daron Rahlves finished a disappointing fifth and 10th, respectively.

In a surprise, the U.S. men's curling team beat defending Olympic champion Norway, 11-5. The American women also were taking on the Norwegians.

Early Monday, Russian biathletes Svetlana Ishmouratova and Olga Pyleva finished 1-2 in the women's 15-kilometer individual, with German Martina Glagow claiming bronze.

Later Monday, medals will be awarded in pairs figure skating and the men's 500 meters in speedskating.

Americans have a good chance to medal in speedskating, where Joey Cheek won the world sprint title last month in the Netherlands and Casey FitzRandolph claimed gold four years ago with an Olympic-record time of 34.42 seconds. Kip Carpenter also took home the bronze for the U.S. in 2002.

Their main competition is expected to come from world record-holder Joji Kato of Japan, 1998 silver medalist Jeremy Wotherspoon of Canada and Russian Dmitry Dorofeyev.

Americans Rena Inoue and John Baldwin are within striking distance of a medal in pairs figure skating after coming in sixth in Saturday's short program. Russians Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin lead entering Monday's long program.

Americans have not won a pairs medal since Jill Watson and Peter Oppegard collected the bronze in 1988.

Also Monday, Sweden is playing Italy and Finland is to take on Switzerland in women's hockey, and the first two runs of women's luge take place.

Updated on Monday, Feb 13, 2006


 
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Next:
OLYMPIC DAY 5 – 17 February 2006 - 00:39
OLYMPIC DAY 6 – 17 February 2006 - 01:14
Vasaloppet 90 km / 45 km ski marathon – 05 March 2006 - 22:00
Alpine Ski World Cup general standing – 24 April 2006 - 13:13
Southern ski championships 2006 – 30 September 2006 - 12:56

Previous:
OLYMPIC DAY 2 – 12 February 2006 - 15:55
WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES OPENING ! – 11 February 2006 - 19:03
Kostelic wins final race before Olympics – 06 February 2006 - 12:28
Alpine World Cup in Adelboden and Maribor – 12 January 2006 - 15:37
Nordic news this weekend – 08 January 2006 - 14:08

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Завърши осмото поредно издание на Elevation 999. bg board sport news
13-year-old Momiji Nishiya (JPN) leads teen skater Olympic medal rush. bg board sport news
Празнуваме World Snow Day 2022 тази неделя на Витоша!!!. bg ski news
България ще събере елита на европейското и световно ски ориентиране в Чепеларе. bg ski news
The Ski Season in Bulgaria will be More Expensive this Year. bg ski news
Поредно признание от FIS към SKI.BG и организирания World Snow Day Sofia 2021. bg ski news
WORLD SKI TEST 2021/2022 at Mölltaler Gletscher. bg ski news
Купа НСА-Мемориал Георги Зографов 2021 се превърна в триумфално завръщане на ски бягането на Витоша. bg ski news
Зубчич спечели и слалома за купа „Пирин". bg ski news
Камен и Юлия Златкови с титлите на слалом в Банско. bg ski news
Скиорите на „Юлен" спечелиха титлите в гигантския слалом. bg ski news
Филип Зубчич спечели гигантския слалом за Купа „Пирин". bg ski news
Банско и БФСки получиха оценка 10 от ФИС за Младежкото световно първенство по ски. bg ski news
Италианка стана световна шампионка на слалом при девойките в Банско. bg ski news
Шведка е новата световна шампионка при девойките в гигантския слалом. bg ski news
Шведка води след първия манш на гигантския слалом на девойките от Младежкото световно в Банско. bg ski news
Калин Златков е 12-ти в света на слалом. bg ski news
Първото издание на бордеркрос купа "Алекс Иванов". bg snowboard news
Държавно първенство по бордеркрос и купа "Витоша ски" 2021. bg snowboard news
ISPO Munich 2022 presents expanded concept. ispo.com
OutDoor by ISPO 2021 online and on-site. ispo.com
ISPO Re.Start Days: Orientation for the sports and outdoor industry. ispo.com
Outstanding Outdoor 2020: Center stage for product innovations. ispo.com
ISPO moves eSports further into focus. ispo.com
Former FIS President Gian Franco Kasper passed away. news BFSki
БФСки проведе годишното си Общо събрание за 2021 г.. news BFSki
VITOSHA RUN 2021: "Плуване срещу течението!". OUTDOOR world
Maliovitsa Skyrun 9: Дизела с впечатляващ нов рекорд на емблематчния скайрън в сърцето на Рила. OUTDOOR world
Ивайло Атанасов и Надежда Ангелова спечелиха Osogovo Run 2021. OUTDOOR world
Mental preparation is a missing piece of the ski racing puzzle. ski analyses
Kids and Climbing: A Step Up In Life. ski analyses
Great progress towards applying air bag technology to ski racing. ski equipment review
On May 8, 1978 Messner and Habeler became first to climb Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen. ski history
Happy Birthday SKI.BG !. ski messages
SKI WAXES: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, PART 1. ski racing tips
Train cross-country skiing with Jan Ottosson, four-time Vasaloppet winner. ski racing tips
Summer activities for all in the Austrian Tirol. ski travel
Mountain summer in the Snow Space Salzburg. ski travel
На ски в Алпите на един автобус разстояние. ski travel
Eliud Kipchoge is the "greatest of all time...in any sport" says leading performance coach. sport
Spectacular Tokyo Olympics 2020 closing ceremony marks the end of unprecedented games. sport
Timo Kapl produces upset victory at Red Bull Wake Capital. world board sport news
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) won gold in the 470 Men at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing. world board sport news
Great Britain wins gold in 49er Men and Finn at Tokyo 2020. world board sport news
Australia wins gold in Men`s Laser at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing. world board sport news
COVID-19 UPDATE: New rules for winter vacations in Tirol. world ski news
From today only vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 are allowed to use ski lifts in Austria. world ski news
Mikaela Shiffrin opens the season in Soelden with her 70th victory. world ski news
The 2021/22 alopine ski season is ready to kick off!. world ski news
Green light for World Cup opening in Soelden. world ski news
Let the Rollerski race season begin!. world ski news
Michel Vion Appointed FIS Secretary General. world ski news
Freeride skiing on snow and ash down an active volcano. world ski news
FIS Congress elects Johan Eliasch as new FIS President. world ski news
ELIASSEN – A LIFE DEDICATED TO CROSS COUNTRY SKIING. world ski news
434,996 € IN TOTAL PRIZE MONEY Visma Ski Classics SEASON XI. world ski news
Milano Cortina 2026 presents official emblem. world ski news
Smith and Midol victorious at first race of Idre Fjäll TRE. world ski news
Major snowstorm brings lots of white gold to the Alps. world ski news
10th World Snow Day a success. world ski news
Sadowski Synnott and Corning win slopestyle golds in weather-shortened Utah 2019 event. world snowboard news
Jacobellis and Bolton with big SBX wins in Feldberg. world snowboard news
 
XXIII Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018
XXIII Olympic
Winter Games
PyeongChang 2018!
XXII Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014
XXII Olympic
Winter Games
Sochi 2014!
XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver 2010
XXI Olympic
Winter Games
Vancouver 2010 !
XX Olympic Winter Games, Torino 2006
XX Olympic
Winter Games !
XIX Olympic Winter Games, Salt Lake 2002
XIX Olympic
Winter Games !
 
 
 
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