PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) The Latest on the Pyeongchang Olympics (all times local):
It didn’t take long for Martin Fourcade to return to the top of the biathlon world at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
The Frenchman bounced back from a disappointing eighth-place finish in the sprint race to win the gold medal in the 12.5-kilometer pursuit on Monday night. Sweden’s Sebastian Samuelsson took home the silver medal, and Germany’s Benedikt Doll earned bronze.
Fourcade has won six career medals, three of them gold.
He hit 19 of 20 targets and overcame a 24-second deficit to start the race. After taking the lead on the third shoot, Fourcade hit his final five shots and turned and pumped his fist at the crowd, knowing the victory was in hand.
The North Korean cheerleaders are back to support the combined Korean women’s hockey team, though they lost their prime seats behind the benches at center ice.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister already is back home after three days in South Korea that included a historical night of women’s hockey with the first combined Korean team to play in the Olympics.
The Koreans now are back on the ice for their second game ever in the Olympics. They’re playing Sweden, the world’s fifth-ranked team.
That hasn’t dimmed the enthusiasm much, if at all. Fans are waving white flags with the blue Korean Peninsula as a symbol of the country coming together, at least over sports.
NBC’s Katie Couric had some Dutch in stitches when she said during the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Olympics that the Netherlands was so good at speedskating because it ”is an important mode of transportation.”
The Dutch Olympic Committee’s chief commercial officer tweeted: ”Sure… Just like most Latvians use a bobsleigh to get to work & Austrian kids ski jump to school.”
Others sent dummied up pictures of suited up businessmen skating to work and presenting some mass skating events as big shopping days.
Couric centered on Amsterdam and said that in winter ”for as long as those canals have existed the Dutch have skated on them to get from place to place.”
Nowadays, the canals rarely freeze and when they do, skaters almost exclusively use it for recreational purposes.
German biathlete Laura Dahlmeier became the first double gold medalist of the Olympics by capturing the women’s 10-kilometer pursuit at the Pyeongchang Games.
Dahlmeier previously won the 7.5-kilometer sprint on Sunday night.
With a healthy lead, Dahlmeier grabbed a German flag from a fan in the crowd about 50 meters from the finish line and began waving it as she crossed.
Dahlmeier entered the games ranked fourth in the world but had never won a gold medal. She is quickly becoming the darling of the German team.
After hitting all 10 targets in the sprint, Dahlmeier was nearly perfect again in her second race, hitting 19 of 20 shots to cruise to a victory by more than 29 seconds over Slovakia’s Anastasiya Kuzmina, who edged France’s Anais Bescond for silver.
Sara Benz scored two power-play goals and Switzerland smothered Japan’s quest for its first Olympic victory in women’s hockey with a 3-1 win.
Japanese forward Rui Ukita sat out Monday, suspended for kicking at an opponent in their 2-1 opening loss to Sweden at the Pyeongchang Games.
Japan outshot the Swiss 38-18 and even had a 5-on-3 in the first period. But they couldn’t beat goalie Florence Schelling even with an extra attacker over the final 3:46.
The Swiss got going in the second. Benz scored from the right circle going top shelf at 10:19, and she finished off a breakaway before sliding into the net at 13:10. Alina Muller stole the puck and finished her own breakaway at 4:27 of the third.
Hanae Kubo redirected Mika Hori’s shot for a goal at 7:33.
Due to gusty conditions, only 34 of 55 ski jumpers have participated in training for the individual Gunderson normal hill event at the Pyeongchang Olympics, part of Nordic combined. Two of three scheduled practice runs were canceled.
Defending Olympic champion Eric Frenzel led training as high winds continued to affect the Alpensia Ski Jumping Center.
The 29-year-old German had a jump of 108 meters in Monday’s training session. The normal hill final is scheduled for Wednesday.
Nordic combined features ski jumping followed later the same day by a 10-kilometer cross-country race. The athlete who wins the ski jumping phase begins first, followed by the remaining athletes in their order of finish.
Winners at the Pyeongchang Olympics don’t immediately receive their medals after an event. First, they get Soohorang, the Winter Games mascot. The cute little stuffed tiger has become ubiquitous during Pyeongchang’s joyous moments.
The white tiger is considered South Korea’s guardian animal. ”Sooho” means ”protection” in Korean while ”rang” is part of the word for ”tiger” and the last Korean letter in ”Jeongseon Arirang,” which is a popular Korean folk song.
Olympic medalists also receive a wooden gift depicting the mountain setting of Pyeongchang, with ”Pyeongchang 2018” spelled out in the Korean alphabet.
Hours – and in some cases an entire day – later, they get the actual medals.
President Thomas Bach says the IOC has done its part getting North Korea and South Korea together at the Pyeongchang Olympics. He says it’s ”now up to the political side to use this momentum” generated from having both Koreas competing with and against each other in the chilly mountains of South Korea.
Speaking at The Associated Press office at the Olympics, Bach acknowledges that ”sport cannot create peace. We cannot lead their political negotiation. We have sent this message that negotiations can lead to a positive result.”
Bach says he’s hopeful the detente continues ”after the Olympic flame has been extinguished” during the closing ceremony on Feb. 25.
Bach has been emotional about the Koreas and their presence together. He was born in West Germany and won a gold medal in fencing for a divided Germany.
Bach says ”now it’s for politics to take over.”
Chloe Kim and three other Americans are through to the finals in women’s halfpipe snowboarding.
The 17-year-old Kim posted the top score during qualifying Monday to earn the top seed in Tuesday’s final. Kim was the only rider to go over 90 points, putting up 91.50 in her first run and topping it with 95.50 in her second.
All four American riders pushed through to the 12-woman final. Maddie Mastro was fourth in qualifying, with 2002 Olympic champion Kelly Clark 11th and Arielle Gold 12th.
The blustery conditions that overwhelmed the field in the women’s slopestyle snowboarding final early Monday didn’t make as much of an impact on the halfpipe on the other end of Phoenix Snow Park.
China’s Liu Jiayu was second in qualifying, with Japan’s Haruna Matsumoto third.
Russian figure skaters at the Pyeongchang Olympics are expressing their deepest condolences to the families of the 71 people killed in an air crash outside Moscow.
Team captain Ekaterina Bobrova says, ”It’s really a deep sorrow for our entire country, and compared to this tragedy, I think everything else fades away.”
The Saratov Airlines airliner had just taken off from the country’s second-busiest airport Sunday when it crashed into a field. Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov confirmed that none of the 65 passengers and six crew members had survived.
The Russian figure skaters won silver Monday in the team event.
Russian figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva could have some tough competition for the women’s individual gold at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
Medvedeva’s training partner, Alina Zagitova, won the team event free skate by 20 points Monday, scoring only 2.38 points short of Medvedeva’s record.
That should set up a tantalizing all-Russian contest for the women’s gold on Feb. 21 and 23. Still, Zagitova swears there’s no rivalry with Medvedeva, who broke her own record in the team short on Sunday. She says the two have really bonded during competitions.
Technically, Zagitova and Medvedeva aren’t representing Russia at the Pyeongchang Games. Instead, they’re ”Olympic Athletes from Russia” – part of the country’s punishment for doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. While skaters don’t wear national uniforms, whoever wins individual gold will accept the medal in an International Olympic Committee-approved neutral red tracksuit as the Olympic anthem plays.
Mirai Nagasu and Adam Rippon shared tears of sorrow when they were left off the Olympic team four years ago, but they shed tears of joy together Monday.
The veteran figure skaters put together flawless back-to-back performances.
Nagasu became the first American woman to land a triple axel in the Olympics. Rippon nailed both his triple axels.
They helped earn the United States the bronze medal in the team competition.
Canada won the gold medal with the ”Olympic Athletes from Russia” taking the silver.
Jamie Anderson defended her title in Olympic women’s slopestyle snowboarding, surviving blustery and treacherous conditions at Phoenix Snow Park to give the United States its second gold medal at the Pyeongchang Games.
Anderson was one of the few riders in the final to navigate the tricky series of rails and jumps safely as the wind wreaked havoc on the field.
Anderson posted a score of 83.00 in the first of her two runs, then watched it hold up as rider after rider either crashed or bailed. Even Anderson wasn’t immune. She washed out in her second run with the gold medal already wrapped up.
Laurie Blouin of Canada finished second, with Finland’s Enni Rukajarvi third. Anderson is the first woman to win multiple gold medals in women’s snowboarding at the Olympics.
It’s only Day 3, but the International Olympic Committee is already getting asked if the Pyeongchang Games will have to be extended.
High winds have postponed the first two Alpine events. The games close Feb. 25 – almost two weeks away.
IOC spokesman Mark Adams laughed at the notion of an extension. He says, ”There’s plenty of time. There’s reserved space in the competition. It’s just a touch premature at this stage.”
Adams describes the delays as typical for Alpine skiing. He says the IOC would never ”take a decision that would put into jeopardy the safety of athletes.”
Organizing committee spokesman Sung Baik-you says the frigid temperatures and gusty winds will moderate later in the week.
The United States has earned the bronze medal in team figure skating. It clinched third even before its ice dancers took the ice.
Canada already was assured of the gold and the Russians had taken silver heading into the final discipline. The Americans led Italy by four points, and when the Italian ice dancers, Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte, did not score well enough to win the free dance, the U.S. had replicated its third-place finish in the event at Sochi.
That pretty much left Maia and Alex Shibutani’s program as an exhibition.
The medals winners were the same as in 2014, except the Canadians had moved up a spot, and the Russians – the Olympic Athletes from Russia this time around – won gold.
Russian skater Alina Zagitova says she’s delighted after blowing away the competition in the team event free skate.
The 15-year-old skating star scored a personal-best 158.08 points – 2.38 off Evgenia Medvedeva’s world record. She skated to ”Don Quixote” to win by a 20-point margin, underlining her credentials as a challenger for the individual gold medal later in the games.
”I’m really happy with my skate,” Zagitova said. ”I was able to cope with my nerves and I’m very pleased that I didn’t let my team down.”
Zagitova proved she could beat Medvedeva at last month’s European championships and hopes to do the same at the Olympics, but says there’s no rivalry with her training partner. Instead, she says ”we’ve really bonded during these competitions.”
Canada has clinched the gold medal in the team figure skating competition.
The Canadians have 63 points through the men’s and women’s free skates, with the free dance still to come, but the second-place Russians have 58 – and the most they could earn is four more points.
Russian Alina Zagitova won the women’s free skate, topping even her performance in taking the European title last month with a season-best 158.08 points – more than 20 ahead of American Mirai Nagasu.
With Zagitova’s flawless performance, the Russians also clinched the silver.
Nagasu had a personal-best 137.53 points, narrowly edging Canada’s Gabrielle Daleman, who had 137.14, for third. Nagasu became just the third woman to land a triple axel at the Olympics, and the first American woman.
The United States has 53 points, four more than Italy, with the bronze on the line heading into the free dance.
Canada will compete for an Olympic gold medal after sweeping to an 8-4 victory over Norway in the mixed doubles curling semifinal.
Canada went into the seventh end, or round, of Monday’s match leading 5-4 after a tight game. Canada’s Kaitlyn Lawes then threw the defining shot of the game, knocking Norway’s stone out of the center of the house and leaving three Canadian rocks close to the target. That gave Canada an 8-4 lead, and Norway was unable to come back from the deficit.
Switzerland and a team of Russian athletes will face off later Monday in a semifinal match. The winner of that game will play Canada in a gold medal match on Tuesday. Norway will play the loser for bronze.
Canada’s John Morris says it was a high pressure game, but that’s what he lives for.
Mirai Nagasu has become the first American woman – and third overall – to land a triple axel in the Olympics, accomplishing the rare feat in the women’s free skate at the team competition in Pyeongchang.
The 24-year-old from Montebello, California, skated first of the five women and led off her routine with the triple axel just 21 seconds in. The feat drew huge cheers from the crowd at the Gangneung Ice Arena.
Japan’s Midori Ito and Mao Asada also landed triple axels during the Olympics.
Nagasu completed a flawless routine, pumping both fists as she finished and got a standing ovation from the excited crowd. She received a personal-best score of 137.53.
Going into the women’s free skate, the Canadians were first in the team competition, followed by the Russians in second and Americans in third. The ice dance free skate is still to come.
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