Shaun White’s win a milestone moment for U.S. team

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 14: Gold medalist Shaun White of the United States poses during the victory ceremony for the Snowboard Men's Halfpipe Final on day five of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics at Phoenix Snow Park on February 14, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

 

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — Ireen Wust of the Netherlands has posted the fastest time so far in the women’s 1,000-meter speedskating final.

She skated the distance in 1 minute, 15.32 seconds on Wednesday night. She is seeking a second gold medal of the games, having won the 1,500.

The Dutch are 4-for-4 at the big oval in Gangneung.

Wust has a long wait to see if she comes out on top again. Still to skate are medal contenders Jorien ter Mors and Marrit Leenstra of the Netherlands, Americans Brittany Bowe and Heather Bergsma and Miho Takagi of Japan.

Takagi earned silver in the 1,500, while Leenstra claimed bronze.

 

WOMEN’S HOCKEY:

Japan has held off Korea 4-1 for its first Olympic victory in women’s hockey, with Hanae Kubo and Shoko Ono each scoring in the first period.

Japan came into its third Olympics winless, but it has the ninth-ranked team in the world and is tops in Asia.

South Korea got a berth as host of the Pyeongchang Games and brought in six North Americans for their debut. The Koreans also had 12 North Koreans added to their expanded roster last month under an agreement between countries divided for seven decades.

Kubo scored 67 seconds in, and Ono added a power-play goal at 3:58.

The Koreans made more Olympic history of their own with their first goal at 9:31 of the second on their 33rd shot over three games.

 

 

MEN’S FIGURE SKATING:

Reigning Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan will be the first skater in the final group when the men take the ice for their short program at the Pyeongchang Games.

The starting draw was held after the pairs completed their short program Wednesday afternoon.

Hanyu will be followed Friday by American star Nathan Chen, Russian skater Mikhail Kolyada and countryman Shoma Uno. Two-time world champion Javier Fernandez of Spain will be the penultimate skater, with Boyang Jin of China going last.

Hanyu is trying to defend men’s Olympic gold for the first time in 66 years. He did three jumps during practice Wednesday, hitting a quad toe-triple toe combination but falling on his quad salchow.

 

 

NORDIC COMBINED:

Defending champion Eric Frenzel of Germany has won the gold medal in the Nordic combined normal hill at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Frenzel erased a 36-second deficit after the ski jumping stage and surged ahead of Akito Watabe on the last uphill of the 10-kilometer cross-country race to finish 4.8 seconds ahead of his Japanese rival. Austria’s Lukas Klapfer took the bronze.

Austrian Franz-Josef Rehrl was the surprise winner of the ski jumping phase with a leap of 112 meters that gave him a 15-second head start but faded early in the cross-country stage.

Frenzel finished fifth in the ski jumping with a leap of 106.5 meters and took the lead midway through the race and held on to give Germany its sixth gold of the games.

 

WOMEN’S INDIVIDUAL BIATHLON:

The Olympic women’s individual biathlon has been postponed due to strong winds hitting the Alpensia Biathlon Center.

Forecasts are predicting gusts of more than 15 mph Wednesday night, making it difficult for competitors to shoot their rifles.

The event has been moved to Thursday, starting ahead of the men’s individual biathlon.

Wind has been a problem throughout the Pyeongchang Olympic Games. The women’s slalom was also canceled Wednesday and spectators were asked to evacuate the Olympic Park in the coastal city of Gangneung because it was so gusty. The men’s downhill and women’s giant slalom have also had to be postponed.

 

 

MEN’S DOWNHILL SKIIING:

American ski racer Tommy Biesemeyer will miss the men’s downhill Thursday after hurting his right ankle while training. The U.S. ski team said Wednesday he was taken to a local clinic to receive treatment and was released.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle will take his place in the race.

Biesemeyer said in a statement: “You are supposed to be optimistic in times like these and say something like, `I will come back stronger than ever.’ But I just can’t bring myself to do it. I am honored to have been named to Team USA and walking in the Opening Ceremony is a moment I’ll never forget.”

 

WOMEN’S HOCKEY:

 

 

 

Switzerland has edged Sweden 2-1 to take the top spot in Group B of women’s hockey at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The win ensures Switzerland, the 2014 bronze medalist, will face either Finland or the Russians on Saturday in the quarterfinals.

Phoebe Staenz scored the game-winner at 11:28 of the third period. Alina Muller also had a goal and an assist, and Christine Meier had two assists. Goalie Florence Schelling made 33 saves for an Olympic record with her ninth career win, breaking a tie with Canada’s Kim St. Pierre.

Muller gave Switzerland a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 13:51 of the second period for her tournament-best sixth goal.

Sweden, which hasn’t medaled since taking silver in 2006 at Turin, tied it with Anna Borgqvist’s power-play goal at 7:35 of the third.

Staenz scored on the power-play to keep the Swiss undefeated. They beat Sweden to win bronze in 2014.

 

 

PAIRS FIGURE SKATING:

The Chinese pair of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong led Russian skaters Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov by less than a point after the short program in the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Sui and Han scored a season-best 82.39 points Wednesday to a breathtaking, almost ethereal version of the Leonard Cohen song “Hallelujah.” They embraced on their knees as the music came to an end, holding the pose for a moment as the crowd roared its approval.

Tarasova and Morozov scored 81.68 points to a piano concerto by Rachmaninov to keep them in contention heading into Thursday’s free skate.

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada were third with 76.82 points. That was less than a point ahead of German favorites Aliona Savchenkno and Bruno Massot.

 

 

MEN’S SNOWBOARDING:

Snowboarder Shaun White has won America’s 100th Winter Olympic gold medal, throwing down a spectacular final run in the men’s halfpipe.

The United States is only the second country to win 100 winter golds. It trails Norway, which started Wednesday with 121. Germany is third with 92.

White’s gold was the fourth for the U.S. in Pyeongchang. The others came from snowboarders Red Gerard, Jamie Anderson and Chloe Kim. America has won 14 gold medals in snowboarding since its Olympic debut in 1998, the most of any country.

This is White’s third gold medal and first since 2010. He ranks third among Americans in individual winter gold medals, trailing only speedskaters Bonnie Blair and Eric Heiden, who have five each.

 

PAIRS FIGURE SKATING:

 

The North Korean pairs team of Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sink have scored a season-best 69.40 points to briefly move into second place during the short program at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

North Korea’s only pair drew cheers from a large block of uniformly dressed fans for even the most simple of elements in practice. Then, they neatly landed their opening triple twist lift, hit a triple toe and throw triple loop, and were showered afterward with flowers from their fans.

The couple dressed in silver and black and performed to a cover of the Beatles song “A Day in the Life” by English rock guitarist Jeff Beck. They were the 10th among 22 teams to take the ice inside the Gangneung Ice Arena and all the medal contenders were still to come.

Still, their score qualified them for the free skate on Thursday.

 

 

PAIRS FIGURE SKATING:

Harley Windsor became the first indigenous Australian to compete at the Winter Olympics when the pairs skater joined teammate Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya on the ice for their short program.

Windsor and his Russian-born partner were among the first pairs on the ice, and their total of 61.55 points was just off their season’s best. And it also meant a long wait to find out whether they made the cut from 22 pairs to 16 for Thursday’s free skate.

Windsor says he started to “feel a bit nervous” the night before competing, but he was happy with the performance. Both of the 21-year-old Windsor’s parents have Australian Aboriginal roots, and his mother Josie was cheering him on from the stands.

 

PAIRS FIGURE SKATING:

The figure skating program at the Pyeongchang Olympics has resumed with the short program for the pairs competition, where the German pair of Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot are the favorites.

There will probably be just as many eyes on the North Koreans.

Security was a bit tighter at Gangneung Ice Arena on Wednesday than it was for the team event, most likely because of the presence of Ryom Tae Ok and Ju Sink. They were a strong third at last month’s Four Continents and placed 15th at last year’s world championships.

And yes, the North Korean cheerleaders are in attendance.

Other favorites include Russian pair Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, two-time world champs Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada, and Chinese pair Sui Wenjin and Han Cong.

 

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