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American Shipley Comes Up Empty

September 21, 2000|Associated Press

America's best slalom kayaker is once again going home from the Olympics without a medal. This time, Scott Shipley will have to deal with the one that got away at Penrith, Australia.

Shipley finished fifth in the finals Wednesday, 1.64 points out of third. The agonizing part is he could've had the bronze if only his right shoulder hadn't nicked a gate on his first run, drawing a two-point penalty.

The nine-time national champion has been around long enough to know better than to play the what-if game over his run-in with the outside pole on Gate 16. Sadly, he had several other mistakes to think about from his second run, which was nearly three seconds slower than the first.

"I got stuck at 15 and left time there," Shipley said with a tight smile. "It was the easy part of the course and I lost time on it on both runs."

Thomas Schmidt of Germany made two flawless runs, the fastest of each round, to easily win the gold. Reigning world champion Paul Ratcliffe of Britain was second-fastest and not even two touched gates could keep him from the silver. Italy's Pierpaolo Ferrazzi got bronze.

In the two-man canoe finals also held Wednesday, Slovakian brothers Pavel and Peter Hochschorner were so fast that they won by six points despite a touched gate on their first run.

Krzyzstof Kolomanski and Michal Staniszewski of Poland, the runners-up at last year's world championships, took silver, and the bronze went to Marek Jiras and Tomas Mader of the Czech Republic, the reigning world champs.

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