Swedish skier wins slalom; no medal for Shiffrin
Published 12:32 am Friday, February 16, 2018
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — The Latest on the Pyeongchang Olympics (all times local):
Frida Hansdotter of Sweden has held off American Mikaela Shiffrin and a tightly bunched field to win the Olympic slalom title at the Pyeongchang Games.
Shiffrin wound up fourth after medaling a day earlier in the giant slalom. She won the slalom title four years ago in Sochi at age 18.
Hansdotter was in second after the first run, then powered through the sun-splashed course on her final run to finish in a combined time of 1 minute, 38.63 seconds.
First-run leader Wendy Holdener of Switzerland was second and Katharina Gallhuber of Austria earned a surprise bronze.
The Tongan cross-country skier perhaps best known for walking out into the last two Olympic opening ceremonies without a shirt is set to take to the snow in the Pyeongchang Games.
The 15-kilometer freestyle begins Friday afternoon local time.
Pita Taufatofua has joked that his two immediate goals are to not crash into a tree and to finish before race organizers turn the lights off.
Taufatofua says the 15-kilometer race is probably a bit of a stretch for him since all his qualifying races were 10 kilometers. He just started skiing this year and has not skied much on snow.
He says he has a “love-hate, hate-hate relationship” with the 15-kiometer race. The last time he raced in a 15-kilometer event he lost a ski and finished in 1 hour, 40 minutes.
Italy’s Michela Moioli has won the gold medal in Olympic women’s snowboardcross. She overtook American Lindsey Jacobellis about halfway down the course, then beat the rest of the field to the finish line.
Jacobellis finished fourth, continuing her hard-luck career at the Olympics. The world’s most decorated rider, Jacobellis has failed to return to the podium since settling for silver after an ill-advised jump in 2006 while she was clear in the lead.
Julia Pereira de Sousa Mablieau of France took silver this time, and defending champion Eva Samkova of the Czech Republic got clipped from behind and skidded across the line for bronze.
Jacobellis had about a two-body-length lead on the field when Moioli overtook her on a curve. Samkova drafted behind and pushed Jacobellis out to the edge of the course and, from there, she couldn’t gain any ground.
The Swiss Olympic team says norovirus was detected in two of its athletes in recent days at the Pyeongchang Games.
The Swiss team did not identify the athletes Friday but said they haven’t been staying in the main Olympic village.
The team says they no longer have symptoms of the virus and should compete in their events.
The athletes were immediately taken to single rooms and treated by team doctors. They have not had contact with other competitors.
Matthias Mayer of Austria has won the Olympic men’s super-G, breaking Norway’s 16-year grip on the title.
Mayer won the speed race by 0.13 seconds ahead of Beat Feuz of Switzerland, who added the silver medal to his bronze from downhill on Thursday.
Defending champion Kjetil Jansrud of Norway was third, 0.18 behind Mayer. It’s Jansrud’s fifth career Olympic medal after getting downhill silver.
Norway had won the past four Olympic men’s super-G races, since the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.
Aksel Lund Svindal, the 2010 Olympic champion in super-G, placed fifth the day after taking Mayer’s downhill title.
It’s been an interesting week for Mayer. He crashed into a course-side television cameraman Tuesday in the slalom leg of the combined event.
Low-ranked skiers in the 62-racer lineup are yet to start.
Happy new year, Yun Sungbin.
On a national holiday in Korea — the start of a lunar new year — Yun became a national hero, winning gold in the men’s skeleton event at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
His four-run time of 3 minutes, 20.55 seconds was 1.63 seconds ahead of silver medalist Nikita Tregubov of Russia. It was the biggest victory margin in Olympic skeleton, topping 1948, when Italy’s Nino Bibbia topped Jack Heaton of the U.S. by 1.4 seconds in a six-heat race.
Dom Parsons of Britain was third.
For the U.S., 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Matt Antoine was 11th and three-time Olympian John Daly was 16th.
Mikaela Shiffrin says she felt sick to her stomach and was “kind of puking” before her first run in the Olympic slalom.
Shiffrin told NBC during a brief interview that “it almost felt like a virus” and “less about nerves.”
The 22-year-old American had the fourth-fastest time in the opening run. The second run is later Friday.
Shiffrin is bidding to win her second gold medal in two days at the Pyeongchang Games and third of her career. She won the giant slalom on Thursday.
Mikaela Shiffrin is in fourth position after her opening run of the slalom and remains within striking distance to capture a second straight gold medal at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
The 22-year-old American turned in a steady performance and sits 0.48 seconds behind leader Wendy Holdener of Switzerland heading into the final run Thursday afternoon. There are seven racers all within a second of Holdener.
Shiffrin won the giant slalom on Thursday. She won the slalom four years ago at the Sochi Games.
Vincent Zhou became the first figure skater to land a quad lutz in Olympic competition when the 17-year-old American hit the four-rotation jump leading into a triple toeloop to open his short program.
Two other skaters are trying the quad lutz in the short program. More will try in the free skate.
Zhou first landed the quad lutz during his warmup, while he was waiting for the scores of France’s Chafik Besseghier to be read. Zhou says he’s always attempted a difficult jump just before his program to get his legs under him, and that it was a quad salchow before he learned the quad lutz last year.
Zhou scored a season-best 82.53 points Friday, easily the best of the first group of skaters.
Markus Schairer of Austria is heading home for treatment after breaking his neck in a frightening crash during the Olympic men’s snowboardcross quarterfinals.
Schairer lost control in the air on the final jump of the treacherous downhill course on Thursday. He slammed into the snow on his back, sending his goggles flying. He was able to get to his feet before being taken for a medical exam.
The Austrian Olympic Committee says Schairer fractured the fifth vertebrae in his neck. It says there is no indication the 30-year-old Schairer experienced any neurological impairment or long-term damage.
The men’s short program is underway at Gangneung Ice Arena, where American figure skater Nathan Chen hopes to land his array of quads that could allow him to challenge for an Olympic medal.
Chen will skate in the final group with reigning Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, Spanish star Javier Fernandez, Chinese contender Jin Boyang and Japanese sensation Shoma Uno.
Vincent Zhou and Adam Rippon are also competing for the U.S.
The short program scores will be combined with the free skate Saturday to determine the medals.
Mikaela Shiffrin was steady in the opening run of the slalom as she tries to win a second straight gold medal at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
The 22-year-old American was the fourth racer to take the course and wound up 0.48 seconds behind current leader Wendy Holdener of Switzerland.
Shiffrin showed no hint of fatigue after winning the giant slalom a day earlier. She won the Olympic slalom four years ago in Sochi.
Call it a good news-bad news scenario for Gus Kenworthy.
The outspoken freestyle skier broke his thumb in training on Thursday.
He tweeted out a picture of his X-Ray, along with one of his freshly casted hand and included this quip: “It won’t stop me from competing (obvi) but it does prevent me from shaking Pence’s hand so … Silver linings!”
Kenworthy, who came out as gay about two years after his silver medal win at the Sochi Games, has been openly critical of U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who was in South Korea for the start of the games.
Kenworthy has previously said he would not go to the White House as part of the traditional visit the U.S. Olympic team makes after the Olympics.
American Mikaela Shiffrin is set to compete in the women’s slalom for what would be her second gold medal of the Pyeongchang Olympics, and Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal will go for a second medal, in the men’s super-G, as Day 7 gets underway.
Both skiers won medals Thursday, Shiffrin in the giant slalom and Svindal in the men’s downhill. Both races had been scheduled for earlier in the games but were delayed due to high winds.
Also Friday, the men’s figure-skating competition starts with the short program. Medals will be awarded after the free skate Saturday. Reigning Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan will be the first skater in the final group, followed by American star Nathan Chen, Russian skater Mikhail Kolyada and countryman Shoma Uno.