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Norway Tops Sochi Medals Table Amid Complaints About Snow

Norway's Maiken Caspersen Falla (center) celebrates winning the gold medal next to silver medalist Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (left) of Norway and bronze medalist Vesna Fabjan (right) of Slovenia after the women's cross-country freestyle sprint race on February 11.
On the fourth day of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Norway is topping the overall medals table with 11 medals, followed by Canada with 9, and the Netherlands with 8.

Russia and the United States each have 7 medals.

A sweep of the cross-country skiing sprint races by Norwegians Ola Vigen Hattestad and countrywoman Maiken Caspersen Falla helped shoot Norway to the top of the medals table on February 11.

Hattestad was followed by Swedes Teodor Peterson and Emil Joensson for the silver and bronze medals.

On the women's side, Falla's compatriot Invild Flugstad won silver and Slovenian Vesna Fabjan got the bronze.

Earlier on February 11, Canadians Dara Howell and Kim Lamarre won the gold and bronze in the women's slopestyle skiing event. American Devin Logan won the silver medal.

South Korea's Lee Sang Hwa won the gold medal in women's 500-meter speed skating. Olga Fatkulina of Russia won the silver medal and Margot Boer of Netherlands won the bronze medal.

Darya Domracheva of Belarus beat her Norwegian and Russian rivals in the women's 10 km biathlon pursuit to take her country's first gold medal at the Sochi Olympics. Tora Berger of Norway took silver, while Teja Gregorin of Slovenia took bronze.

Most of the events on February 11 were high up in the mountains above Sochi, where warm weather left many competitors complaining about poor snow conditions. The high number of tumbles appeared to back them up, and warm weather has also caused training runs for various skiing events to be canceled.

Sochi organizers said they saw no need to bring in stored snow to cope with the warm temperatures -- but were ready to do so if needed.

Organizers have stored about 700,000 cubic meters of snow from previous winters near the mountain venues above Sochi.

On February 11, temperatures reached 11 degrees Celsius in Sochi, and 5 degrees in the Krasnaya Polyana mountain venue.

Attention at the Winter Olympics on February 11 was already turning to the men's ice hockey competition, as Russia -- one of the favorites for the gold medal -- and fellow heavyweights Canada and the United States faced the world's media.

Men's hockey begins on February 12, with the much anticipated clash between the United States and Russia on February 15.

Also on February 11, the International Olympic Committee announced that India is back in the Olympic movement after having its suspension lifted. Indian athletes appeared in the Sochi opening ceremonies under the Olympic flag due to an IOC suspension of the Indian Olympic Association, which had elected a former convict as its president.

The Indians held a new election February 9 and amended their constitution to comply with Olympic guidelines.

With reporting by AFP, AP, and Reuters
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