PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — The Latest on the Pyeongchang Olympics (all times local):
So maybe Laura Dahlmeier isn’t quite perfect after all.
After the German biathlete won her first gold in what she deemed a “perfect race” — she hit all 10 targets with her rifle — the 24-year-old showed she’s human, too. As she approached a group of her German teammates after the race she began running with outstretched arms toward them but promptly slipped on a patch of ice.
Her teammates helped her up and they all had a good chuckle before continuing celebrating Germany’s first medal of the 2018 Olympic Games.
Alina Muller scored a hat trick in the first period and added a fourth goal 1:26 into the second as Switzerland shut out Korea 8-0 for a big dose of hockey reality for the Koreans’ extraordinary Olympic debut.
The first combined Korean team at any Olympics did not dim fans’ enthusiasm for a team dressing three North Koreans.
Bolstered by North Korean cheerleaders, fans yelled “Bear up” on each shot attempt. They also shouted “We are one” with the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korea’s nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam, watching at the Kwandong Hockey Center.
Korea just missed an early lead when Han Soojin’s shot hit the crossbar.
Switzerland is ranked sixth in the world.
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The Koreans managed all of three shots in the first 20 minutes of their historic women’s hockey game in the Olympics, and a North Korean had one of them.
And fans roared encouragement and approval each time the Koreans touched the puck.
Han Soojin had a shot that went off the crossbar, just missing a chance to give Korea a lead in a scoreless game. North Korean Jong Su Hyon had a shot smothered by the Swiss goalie, and Choi Jiyeon had another shot late in the period.
It wasn’t nearly enough against Switzerland, ranked sixth in the world and winner of bronze in 2014 at Sochi. Alina Muller provided all the scoring the Swiss needed with a hat trick in the first period, the third goal coming with 12 seconds left in the period.
The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is watching a joint Korean hockey team’s historic first match against Switzerland at the Olympics with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Moon’s office says Moon; Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong; and North Korea’s nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam, are at the Kwandong Hockey Center on Saturday to watch the game.
Kim Yo Jong and Kim Yong Nam are on an unprecedented visit to South Korea amid an abrupt reconciliation mood between the rival Koreas for the Pyeongchang Games.
The North Koreans earlier Saturday invited Moon to visit Pyongyang in what would be the Koreas’ third summit talks since their 1945 division.
Lim Hyo-jun has given the host country its first gold medal of the Pyeongchang Olympics.
The South Korean crossed the line first in the men’s 1,500-meter short track, setting off a huge roar from the capacity crowd at Gangneung Ice Arena.
Defending Olympic champion Charles Hamelin of Canada was penalized for impeding and finished far back anyway.
Lim surged past Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands and finished about two blade lengths ahead in an Olympic-record time of 2 minutes, 10.485 seconds.
Knegt settled for the silver medal, while the bronze went to Semen Elistratov, who became Russia’s first medalist of the games.
Russia was banned from the Olympics for a massive doping scheme, but Elistratov is among 168 competitors allowed in as “Olympic Athletes From Russia.”
The Koreans have made Olympic history with the puck dropping in their first Olympic game with their women’s hockey lineup featuring three North Koreans under an unprecedented agreement.
And a North Korean forward nearly gave the historic combined team a lead.
Jong Su Hyon shot the puck from the left circle on a power play in the first period only to catch the crossbar, glancing off harmlessly.
Then Switzerland responded by jumping out to a 2-0 lead, scoring 61 seconds apart midway through the period
Trailing didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of home fans, who kept chanting in support with the North Korean cheerleaders rinkside leading the cheers. During a timeout, the cheerleaders tried to start fans doing the wave only to see that trickle out as play resumed.
The Dutch resumed where they left off four years ago, dominating the Olympic speedskating Oval and getting a clean sweep of medals in the women’s 3,000 meters, with outsider Carlijn Achtereekte leading the way.
Achtereekte raced in the first half of the program with the also-rans, but her time of 3 minutes, 59.21 seconds was good as gold as double 3,000-meter Olympic champion Ireen Wust finished .08 seconds behind.
Bronze went to Antoinette de Jong for the amazing Dutch sweep.
In Sochi four years ago, the Netherlands won 23 of 36 medals. They’ve started 3 for 3 at the Pyeongchang Games.
Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier wasn’t just good. She was perfect.
The 24-year-old budding biathlon star hit all 10 targets to win her first gold medal in the women’s 7.5-kilometer sprint on Saturday night at the Pyeongchang Games.
Dahlmeier had won five of six possible medals at last year’s World Championships. Coincidentally, the one event she didn’t win was this one.
She appeared exhausted as she finished, falling to the ground, her face inches from the snow and her skis spread apart in a frog-like position.
Only three women out of 86 competitors hit all 10 targets on a cold and blustery night. However, the other two failed to crack the top 15 because they took too long to shoot those targets.
Norway’s Marte Olsbu captured the silver medal and Veronika Vitkova from the Czech Republic took home the bronze.
South Korea recovered from a crash to earn a place in the women’s 3,000-meter relay final at short-track speedskating.
The South Koreans won their semifinal heat on Saturday night, drawing wild cheers from the home crowd at the packed Gangneung Ice Arena.
Canada also advanced to Tuesday’s final, along with China and Italy.
The U.S. women didn’t qualify for the event.
The field is set for the men’s 1,500-meter short-track speedskating final.
After the crash-filled semifinals, nine skaters advanced to the final later Saturday night.
Among them is defending Olympic champion Charles Hamelin of Canada.
American J.R. Celski finished sixth and last in his semifinal heat and didn’t advance after being penalized. Joining Celski on the sidelines was his teammate John-Henry Krueger, who also got penalized.
World record holder Sjinkie Knegt will try to become the first Dutch short-track speedskater to win an Olympic title in the chaotic sport.
Among others in the 1,500 final are Liu Shaolin Sandor of Hungary, Lim Hyo-jun and Hwang Dae-heon, both of South Korea, and Semen Elistratov, a Russian skater who is competing under the Olympic flag at the games.
Coach Sarah Murray is playing three North Korean forwards as required in the deal creating the first combined Korean team in Olympic history.
The women’s hockey coach faced some tough decisions after negotiations led to 12 North Korean players being added to her roster on Jan. 25. She had to scratch three of her South Korean players for Saturday’s game against Switzerland at the Kwandong Hockey Center.
The North Korean forwards are Kim Un Hyang, Jong Su Hyon and Hwang Chung Gum.
Neither country has played women’s ice hockey in the Olympics before. South Korea only received a berth as a host country.
Fans cheered as the Koreans took the ice for pregame warmups.
But the cheers might have been louder if not for a backup outside the arena getting fans through the gates.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier says there’s hope the “tender dialogue” between the Koreas at Pyeongchang will foster an improvement in diplomatic relations beyond the Olympics.
Steinmeier visited the German House in Pyeongchang as medal competition was getting was underway.
He says only months ago there were doubts over North Korea’s participation in the Olympics. He says, “Certainly three weeks ago no one would have thought that there would be a united team which entered the stadium together.”
The rare invitation to Pyongyang for South Korean President Moon Jae-in, delivered by Kim Jong Un’s sister, has accelerated the diplomatic warming.
By those measures, Steinmeier say, “What we’re seeing right now is at least a sign.” He says he’s not sure it can hold long term but notes, “At least you can have hope.”
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and South Korean President Moon Jae-in are chatting while watching Olympic speedskaters compete just hours after Moon received a historic invitation to visit North Korea.
Aides did not immediately say whether the invitation was discussed as the two sat next to each other viewing several heats Saturday.
They were seated not far from a section of North Korean cheerleaders who attended the Olympics in a sign of warming ties between the two Koreas that Pence and other U.S. officials have warned against.
Moon and North Korea’s 90-year-old ceremonial head of state will jointly attend the unified Korean women’s ice hockey team’s first match later Saturday evening with Pence.
American teenager Maame Biney is safely through to the quarterfinals of the 500 meters in her short-track Olympic debut.
The 18-year-old speedskater finished second in her heat behind China’s Fan Kexin on Saturday night. Biney was born in Ghana and moved to the U.S. as a 5-year-old.
The other American, Lana Gehring, was eliminated after finishing third in her heat. Only the top two skaters in each heat advance.
Among the big names moving on to Tuesday’s quarterfinals are Canadian teammates Kim Boutin and Marianne St-Gelais, Italy’s Arianna Fontana, Britain’s Elise Christie and South Korea’s Choi Min-jeong.
Shim Suk-hee of South Korea was a three-time medalist at the Sochi Games but was eliminated Saturday after finishing third in her heat.