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Tuesday, February 19, 2002
Final of sprint set for later Tuesday

Associated Press

MIDWAY, Utah -- Haavard Bjerkeli of Norway posted the top qualifying time for the men's 1.5-kilometer sprint Tuesday. Cristian Zorzi of Italy and Janusz Krezelok of Poland were second and third.

Americans Carl Swenson (31st), Torin Koos (37th) and Lars Flora (38th) failed to qualify for the elimination heats.

Bjerkeli covered the Soldier Hollow course in 2 minutes, 50.07 seconds -- almost three-tenths of a second faster than Zorzi.

The sprint -- in which athletes ski just less than a mile -- started with 71 men. The fastest 16 skiers moved onto four elimination heats.

The top two skiers from each four-person heat were to advance to the semifinals. The top two skiers in each semifinal then were to advance to the four-person final Tuesday afternoon.

Top skiers who failed to qualify include: Sweden's Thobias Fredriksson (18th), Austria's Marc Mayer (21st) and Finland's Ari Palolahti (22nd).