Olympics Live: Norway’s Riiber is back in Nordic combined
The Latest on the Beijing Winter Olympics:
Nordic combined star Jarl Magnus Riiber of Norway is back.
The three-time world champion jumped 136 meters (446 feet) on the large hill in the trial round, sending a clear message that he’s fit to compete after being in isolation for more than 10 days after testing positive for COVID.
Only Austria’s Johannes Lamparter jumped farther, by half a meter, before the competition round Tuesday afternoon.
Riiber and the rest of the 48-man field will jump and take part in a 10K cross-country race later in the day at the Beijing Games.
Estonia’s Kristjan Ilves, who also had tested positive for COVID-19, is competing after missing last week’s medal event.
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Eric Frenzel of Germany has not been cleared for competition, but the team is holding out hope he can make a comeback for the team event. Germany’s Terence Weber was ruled out after testing positive for COVID-19 and replaced by Manuel Faisst, who traveled to China and may compete.
The Russians have set an Olympic record in men’s speedskating team pursuit to advance to the gold medal final against defending champion Norway.
The ROC squad of Daniil Aldoshkin, Sergei Trofimov and Ruslan Zakharov won a thrilling semifinal race against the world record holders from the United States. They crossed the line in 3 minutes, 36.62 seconds, beating the Olympic record of 3:37.08 set four years ago by the Norwegians.
The U.S. trio of Ethan Cepuran, Casey Dawson and Emery Lehman briefly grabbed the lead in the middle of the eight-lap race, but the Russians held a slight advantage almost the entire way. The Americans finished in 3:37.05, also bettering the previous Olympic record but only good enough to earn a spot against the Netherlands in a race later Tuesday for the bronze medal.
On the women’s side, defending Olympic champion Japan will meet Canada for the gold medal. The Netherlands will face ROC for the bronze.
Defending Olympic champion Japan has advanced to the final of women’s speedskating team pursuit.
The trio of Ayana Sato and sisters Miho and Nana Takagi easily won their semifinal race against the Russian team. They advance to the gold medal race later Tuesday against Canada.
The Canadians knocked off a team from the Netherlands that included gold medalists Irene Schouten and Ireen Wust. The Dutch will face the Russian team for the bronze medal.
Su Yiming gave host China its second gold medal at Big Air Shougang, matching Eileen Gu with a stunning show in front of fans at the repurposed steel mill and winning the country’s first top prize in Olympic snowboarding.
The 17-year-old child actor-turned-rider followed up his unexpected silver in slopestyle — he would’ve taken gold if not for a judging blunder — by joining Gu in cementing his celebrity status with a big air gold.
Gu won the freestyle skiing best-trick contest last week on her final jump, and the celebration briefly broke Chinese social media website Weibo.
Kamila Valieva’s lawyers say the Russian skater failed a doping test before the Olympics because of contamination from medication her grandfather was taking.
IOC member Denis Oswald says part of the 15-year-old’s defense is “contamination which happened with a product her grandfather was taking.”
The argument was made at a Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing late Sunday night. The CAS judges ruled Monday that Valieva can compete in the women’s individual event despite testing positive for a banned heart medication.
Although she can skate, the investigation will continue for months, and she may be stripped of medals later. She helped the Russian team win gold last week and is the favorite in the women’s event starting Tuesday.
Valieva and her entourage will be investigated by the Russian anti-doping agency after the Olympics. Even if the Russian investigation clears her, the ruling will likely be appealed.
Oswald, a veteran sports lawyer who investigated Sochi Olympics doping scandal cases for the IOC, says lawyers for Valieva “presented elements that brought some doubts about her guilt.”
The CAS panel cited several reasons for allowing her to skate, including her status as a minor, the potential harm to her career and the delay in informing Russia about the positive test, from a sample taken on Dec. 25.
Even if she wins another medal, the International Olympic Committee announced no medals will be handed out in events that Valieva places in until after the full investigation.
The only skier to beat Sofia Goggia in a downhill over the last two seasons beat Sofia Goggia again to win the Olympic gold medal in the event at the Beijing Games.
Corinne Suter, a 27-year-old Swiss skier who injured both of her legs early in the season, edged Goggia by 0.16 seconds.
Goggia hurt her left knee about a month ago but still managed to take the lead by nearly half a second. She let out a lengthy roar after crossing the line and then kissed a television camera.
Goggia has dominated the downhill in recent seasons and would have been the favorite if not for getting injured during a super-G in Cortina d’Ampezzo less than a month ago. The 29-year-old Italian partially tore a ligament in her left knee and sustained a minor fracture in that leg, along with tendon damage.
Goggia had won the last eight World Cup downhills she finished, a streak that began in December 2020. But Suter won the last downhill race before the Olympics.
Mikaela Shiffrin, who did not finish her opening runs in either of her initial two events, finished in 18th place, 2.49 behind Suter.
The defending Olympic champion U.S. men’s curling team beat Switzerland 7-4 and moved within reach of a playoff berth.
John Shuster’s team is in fourth place after its fourth win, with matches against the two bottom teams in the standings — Italy and Denmark — remaining. Six wins would definitely earn the 2018 gold medalists a spot in the semifinals, and five might even be good enough.
The Swiss led 4-2 after six ends before the Americans (4-3) rolled off three scoring ends in a row. They picked up two points in the seventh with the last-rock advantage known as the hammer, then stole a point in the eighth and ninth when Switzerland held the edge.
Defending silver medalist Sweden (7-0) remained unbeaten with an 8-3 win over Denmark in the morning session. Britain (5-1) is in second, and Canada (5-2) beat China 10-8 to hold onto third place.
The Americans entered the day tied for fourth with Switzerland and Russia, which lost to Norway 12-5.
Defending champion Sofia Goggia won’t win a second straight Olympic gold medal in the women’s downhill.
The Italian took the lead in the race shortly after Mikaela Shiffrin completed her run but Corinne Suter then finished ahead of Goggia. Shiffrin was in 17th place with about half the racers still to come.
Nadia Delago of Italy was in third.
The 29-year-old Goggia was injured during a super-G in Cortina d’Ampezzo last month. She partially tore a ligament in her left knee and sustained a minor fracture in that leg.
Suter would become the first woman since Lindsey Vonn to hold the Olympic and world championship titles in downhill at the same time.
The four-man biathlon relay race scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday has been moved to 2:30 p.m. due to exceptionally cold temperatures at the Zhangjiakou National Biathlon Stadium.
During the relay biathletes ski three laps and shoot twice, meaning they will spend about 20 to 30 minutes out in the cold on the track — in addition to the time they spend waiting for their turn. They also risk frostbite on their hands, since their trigger fingers are exposed while shooting.
At 11 a.m., the temperature at the stadium was 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 17 degrees Celsius) and was expected to drop to minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 20 degrees Celsius) by 6 p.m. That means the racers would face dangerous conditions.
Those were air temperatures and did not take into consideration the wind, which was blowing at almost 5 mph (8 kph.) The wind chill makes the actual temperature feel closer to minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 30 degrees Celsius.)
Eileen Gu took home another medal from the Beijing Games with a second-place finish in the women’s ski slopestyle competition. That means she could still become the first action-sports athlete to capture three medals at the same Winter Games.
Gu’s bid for another gold medal was thwarted by Mathilde Gremaud. The freestyle skier from Switzerland won the event on a bitterly cold and hazy day when temperatures hovered around minus 5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 20 Celsius). Kelly Sildaru of Estonia took home bronze.
Gu, the 18-year-old American-born freestyler who is competing for her mother’s home country of China, won the big air contest last week. She’s also competing in the halfpipe competition.
Sitting in eighth place after two runs, Gu used a strong final run to work her way onto the podium. She couldn’t catch Gremaud, who scored an 86.56 on her second run.
Anna Gasser of Austria has won her second straight Olympic gold medal in women’s snowboarding big air.
The 30-year-old Gasser held off a field with an average age of 21, including 20-year-old Zoi Sadowski Synnott of New Zealand, who last week won her country’s first ever Winter Olympics gold medal in slopestyle. Sadowski Synnott took silver Tuesday.
Kokomo Murase of Japan earned bronze with a pair of 1080s at Big Air Shougang. It was the first Olympic medal for the 17-year-old.
The start of the women’s downhill ski race at the Beijing Games has been delayed for at least 30 minutes because of wind.
An hour before the scheduled start of the race, the wind was whipping at about 15 mph (about 25 kph), with gusts topping 25 mph (40 kph) at the top of the hill.
The temperature was minus 5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 20 Celsius).
The men’s downhill, which was supposed to open the Alpine competition on Feb 6., had to be postponed until the following day because of wind.
Eileen Gu fell on her second run and dropped into eighth place in the final of the women’s ski slopestyle competition at the Beijing Games.
Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland jumped into the lead after two of three runs. Kelly Sildaru of Estonia sits in second place and American Maggie Voisin in third.
Gu over-rotated on the third rail and tumbled to the snow. She fixed her helmet before skiing down.
Gu, the 18-year-old American-born freestyler who is competing for her mother’s home country of China, is trying to win her second gold of these Winter Olympics. She won the gold medal in big air last week. She’s also competing in the halfpipe contest later this week.
Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva says she’s happy but worn out after a grueling doping hearing ended with her being allowed to skate at the Beijing Games.
The 15-year-old tells Russian state broadcaster Channel One that the past few days have been very difficult for her.
“I’m happy but I’m tired emotionally,” she said in comments broadcast Monday night.
Valieva is the favorite for the gold medal in the women’s competition alongside her Russian teammates Alexandra Trusova and Anna Shcherbakova. The competition starts with the short program Tuesday night Beijing time and continues with the free skate Thursday.
There won’t be a medal ceremony if Valieva finishes in the top three because the International Olympic Committee is concerned she could still be banned over a failed drug test from Dec. 25. That test was not revealed until after she won team gold with the Russian Olympic Committee last week.
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