Olympics Live: Eileen Gu wins ski halfpipe gold for China

The Latest on the Beijing Winter Olympics:

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Eileen Gu captured gold in the women’s ski halfpipe final on a breezy and cold morning to become the first action-sports athlete to earn three medals at the same Winter Olympics.

Gu warmed up with a score of 93.25 on her first run, before going even higher and even bigger to post a 95.25 her second. For her third and final pass, and with the contest locked up, she took a nice leisurely stroll.

The standout American-born freestyle skier who represents China already possessed a gold from big air and a silver from slopestyle.

Defending Olympic champion Cassie Sharpe of Canada finished second and her teammate Rachael Karker earned the bronze. Teenager Hanna Faulhaber was the top American finisher in sixth place.

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Germany’s Francesco Friedrich took part in the final day of four-man bobsled training at the Beijing Olympics on Friday, one day after suggesting he might skip the session.

Friedrich was the first sled down the hill on Friday for the final training session. That may have played a role in his decision to take part. Friedrich was one of the last sleds to get on the ice Thursday during four-man training and afterward the three-time Olympic champion expressed concerns about the conditions of the track.

He likely enjoyed what he saw Friday. Friedrich started the day with a run of 58.98 seconds. That was his fastest in five trips down the Yanqing Sliding Center ice in his four-man sled this week.

He’s the overwhelming favorite for gold in the four-man event that starts on Saturday.

Some top sliders did choose to skip training Friday, including Canadian teammates Justin Kripps and Chris Spring, Germany’s Christoph Hafer and Latvian veteran Oskars Kibermanis. It’s not unusual for veterans to opt out of a training session, in order to preserve their bodies and sleds for the looming two days of competition.

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Eileen Gu posted the highest score in her first run of the women’s ski halfpipe final as she bids to become the first action-sports athlete to capture three medals at the same Winter Games.

The standout American-born freestyle skier who represents China already possesses a gold from big air and a silver from slopestyle.

On a blustery and cool day, Gu turned in a solid run and scored a 93.25 to easily lead the way. Defending Olympic champion Cassie Sharpe of Canada sits in second place after the opening run of three and her teammate Rachael Karker was in third. American teenager Hanna Faulhaber was in fourth.

The temperature hovered around 3 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 16 Celsius) with an 11 mph wind.

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The judges who let Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva compete at the Beijing Olympics despite a positive test for a banned substance blamed anti-doping officials for a “failure to function effectively.”

The Court of Arbitration for Sport, in a newly published 41-page document explaining their decision, cited an “untenable delay” at the testing laboratory in Sweden.

It meant Valieva’s positive test for a heart medication was only revealed during the Olympics despite her urine sample arriving in Stockholm on Dec. 29. The lab’s staffing was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her lawyers suggested she was contaminated because her grandfather uses the banned heart medication she tested positive for.

The judges’ full verdict was published early Friday, hours after the 15-year-old Valieva’s mistake-filled free skate dropped her from the lead to finish fourth in the Olympic women’s individual event.

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The International Testing Agency says Ukrainian bobsledder Lidiia Hunko has tested positive for an anabolic steroid at the Beijing Games.

The ITA says she failed a drug test after competing Monday. She placed 20th in women’s monobob.

Hunko is the third athlete to test positive for doping at the Beijing Olympics and the second from Ukraine, after cross-country skier Valnetyna Kaminska.

All three ITA cases in Beijing have detected a steroid.

The 28-year-old Hunko placed second in the 2016 World’s Strongest Woman contest, according to her official Beijing Olympics athlete biography.

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More AP Winter Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/winter-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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