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WINTER OLYMPICS : Other Sports : Nykanen Earns a Place in History With 3rd Gold

February 25, 1988|From Times Wire Services

CALGARY, Canada — Matti Nykanen became the first triple gold medalist of the 15th Winter Olympics with the two longest jumps of the day, leading Finland to victory in the 90-meter team ski jumping and making a place for himself alongside Birger Ruud.

"It's quite hard to compare," Nykanen said of the comparison with Ruud, who won gold medals for Norway in 1932 and 1936 before taking a silver in 1948 at age 36.

Nykanen, who won the 70- and 90-meter individual competitions, had jumps of 377 feet 4 inches and 375-7 as Finland scored 634.4 points. Yugoslavia won the silver medal with 625.5 points, and Norway had 596.1 to take the bronze.

Nykanen, 24, also won a gold medal in the 90-meter individual four years ago at Sarajevo and a silver medal in the 70 meters.

The United States' team of Mike Holland of Norwich, Vt., Dennis McGrane of Littleton, Colo., Mark Konopacke of Kingsford, Mich., and Ted Langlois, of Newport N.H., placed 10th with a score of 496.8.

Thomas Mueller held off a charge by Switzerland's Fredy Glanzmann on the final lap, and West Germany won the gold medal in the Olympic nordic combined team ski competition.

West Germany finished 3.4 seconds ahead of the Swiss as the team event made its Olympic debut. Austria was a surprise bronze medalist, with favored Norway a disappointing fourth.

West Germany led after the 70-meter ski jumping competition Tuesday with Austria trailing by 16 seconds in the handicap-start relay race, which featured three athletes skiing 10 kilometers each.

The U.S. team of Hans Johnstone, 26, Carlisle, Mass.; Todd Wilson, 22, Winter Park, Colo., and Joseph Holland, 23, Norwich, Vt., finished last in the 10-team field.

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