The Latest: Contrasting games doubles for Hirscher, Fourcade
Feb. 18, 2018
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — The Latest on the Pyeongchang Olympics (all times local):
Marcel Hirscher picked up his second Alpine gold medal of the Pyeongchang Winter Games, securing the giant slalom title by the largest margin of victory in the event at the Olympics in 50 years.
Martin Fourcade also collected his second gold of the games, but by the narrowest of margins. The French biathlete got the decision in a photo finish ahead of Simon Schempp in the 15-kilometer mass start.
The Sunday program finished with Nao Kodaira winning the women's 500-meter speedskating title in an Olympic record — and the first sub-37-second time ever by a woman at sea level.
There were six sets of medals on the day. There's half that many on offer Monday, with finals in speedskating, bobsled and ski jumping.
Sweden has beaten Finland 3-1 in the Olympic men's hockey tournament to win Group C and advance directly into the quarterfinals.
Patrik Zackrisson scored the winning goal, knocking in a rebound of Johan Fransson's slap shot at 8:53 of the third period.
Sweden qualifies with three wins after earlier beating Norway 4-0 and Germany 1-0. Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, widely predicted to the No. 1 NHL draft pick, was a healthy scratch for the second time in the preliminary round after also sitting out the opening win over Norway.
Across town, Canada beat Korea 4-0 to wrap up preliminary play.
Japanese veteran Noriaki Kasai has qualified for the men's team large hill ski jumping final at the Olympics.
After failing to qualify for the large hill final on Saturday, there was some concern Kasai might not make it for the Monday's team final. But the 45-year-old Kasai had two second-place finishes in Sunday's three training jumps to book a spot on the four-man team.
Kasai, who is competing in his eighth Olympics, could become the first athlete 45 or older claim a medal at the Winter Olympics since Canada's Carolyn Darbyshire in the women's curling team event in 2010.
Defending champion Germany has won the team event a record three times. Norway has won three of the four men's team events in the World Cup this season with Poland winning the other.
Nao Kodaira of Japan has won the women's 500-meter speedskating gold medal in 36.94 seconds, an Olympic record.
Kodaira became the first woman to race under 37 seconds at sea level, bettering her old mark of 37.07 set in November in Norway.
Two-time defending champion Lee Sang-hwa of South Korea took silver in 37.33. Karolina Ervanova of the Czech Republic earned bronze in 37.34.
Brittany Bowe was the highest U.S. finisher in fifth place. Teammate Heather Bergsma was 11th, while Erin Jackson finished 24th out of 31 skaters in her Olympic debut.
Oleksandr Abramenko has given Ukraine its first medal at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
The 29-year-old Abramenko edged Jia Zongyang in the men's aerials finals, posting a score of 128.51 in his last jump to give his country just its third gold medal ever at the Winter Games.
Zongyang was the last jumper of the night and exulted after nailing his back full, double full, the same jump Abramenko completed moments before. Abramenko celebrated when the score was posted. The only other gold medals won by the Ukraine at the Winter Games came in 1994 when Oksana Baiul captured the Olympic title in women's figure skating and in 2014 when the women's biathlon team earned the top spot.
Ilia Burov, representing the Olympic Athletes from Russia, earned bronze. The Russian contingent remains without a gold in South Korea.
The Russian delegation at the Pyeongchang Olympics says one of its athletes has failed a doping test.
Two Russian state news agencies cite Konstantin Vybornov, spokesman for the "Olympic Athletes from Russia," as saying the delegation received an official notification from the International Olympic Committee of the positive test.
Vybornov adds a "B'' sample taken from the athlete will be analyzed, but does not name the athlete or the sport. The IOC says it has taken note of Vybornov's statement.
A confirmed doping case could be an obstacle to Russia's efforts to have the Russian team formally reinstated in time for the closing ceremony.
The only other doping case so far at the Pyeongchang Olympics came when Japanese short-track speedskater Kai Saito tested positive for a banned diuretic.
U.S. speedskater Heather Bergsma has completed her run in the 500 meters with a time of 38.13 seconds.
That's got her in second with 14 skaters still to go, including teammate Brittany Bowe.
The Americans have yet to make the podium in long-track speedskating at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
American speedskater Erin Jackson has clocked a time of 39.20 seconds in her 500-meter run. She was in the first pairing of the women's competition.
Jackson's time was slower than her personal best of 39.04 that she skated at the U.S. trials last month.
The inline skater only switched to ice last February and became the first black woman to make the U.S. long-track Olympic team.
Martin Fourcade beat Germany's Simon Schempp in a dramatic photo finish in the 15-kilometer mass start Sunday to win his second gold medal of the Pyeongchang Olympics.
Schempp caught Fourcade over the frantic final 100 meters and the two skiers came to the line neck-and-neck.
Fourcade, the world's No. 1 biathlete, reached out his left foot ahead of Schempp as both skiers slid through the finish line. Fourcade quickly slammed his ski pole to the ground thinking he'd lost the race, but replays showed he won by the narrowest of margins.
It was something of a turnaround for Fourcade, who had taken silver in a dramatic finish to the same event in Sochi four years ago.
Emil Hegle Svendsen took bronze.
South Korea has topped qualifying for the speedskating team pursuit semifinals, beating the Dutch to set up a race against the surprisingly strong New Zealanders.
The Dutch will meet Norway in a clash of European speedskating powers. With the top four of eight teams advancing, the biggest upset of the night at the Olympic oval was the elimination of Canada, whose trio led by 10,000-meter gold medalist Ted-Jan Bloemen, finished seventh. The United States finished in eighth and last place.
The Dutch did not have a smooth race, with Koen Verweij continuing his poor form in South Korea. A strong race from 5,000-meter champion Sven Kramer settled the Dutch among the top qualifiers. Instead of Verweij, the Netherlands might have to consider Patrick Roest, the 1,500 silver medalist.
South Korean Prime Minsiter Lee Nak-yeon has stopped by the curling venue at the Pyeongchang Olympics to watch the women's team send China to a 12-5 loss.
The prime minister posed for pictures with fans and venue volunteers.
Korea has little curling tradition, but as the host nation it receives an entry into all three tournaments — men's, women's and mixed. The Koreans finished sixth in the eight-team mixed doubles field. They are tied for second in the women's tournament, but the men were last heading into Sunday night's session.
That hasn't stopped the hometown crowd from getting excited about the sport. During a filled-to-capacity afternoon session, locals rooted on their women's team as it opened a 10-2 lead. China conceded the match with two ends to go — not enough time for a comeback.
Defending Olympic bronze medalist Eve Muirhead picked a bad time to hog a rock for the first time.
On her final stone of the first extra-end in the Olympic women's curling tournament on Sunday, the British skip failed to let go before the rock crossed over the hog line. It was removed from play, setting up Swedish skip Anna Hasselborg with a much easier shot for the 8-6 victory.
Olympic curling stones contain a sensor that lights up green if the handle is released in time, or red if it isn't. The rock was tested to make sure that sensor was working correctly, but there is no other review process.
Muirhead says she doesn't think she's ever committed a hog line violation before.
The unusual event came two days after Canadian skip Rachel Homan caused a controversy by removing a burned rock from play — a legal but not altogether sporting move in the insular and friendly curling world.
The U.S. men's Alpine ski team has only one top 10 finish through four races and is in danger of leaving the Olympics without a medal for the first time since the 1998 Nagano Games.
For about 20 minutes during the Olympic giant slalom, Ryan Cochran-Siegle was in the leader's box, but then he slipped into a tie for 11th.
That's just about par on the icy course for the team in Pyeongchang. The squad wasn't really expected to do all that well — and it hasn't.
Through four races, they have only one top 10 finish — Ted Ligety's fifth place in the Alpine combined.
The only individual men's event remaining is Thursday's slalom.
U.S. coach Sasha Rearick says the team knows it has work ahead of it to get where it wants to be.
Japan now has an Olympic winning streak in women's hockey.
Ayaka Toko scored on a slap shot from the high slot 3:16 into overtime, and Japan beat Sweden 2-1 Sunday in a classification game.
The Japanese had a goal disallowed for goaltender interference late in the first period, and they couldn't score on the power play 27 seconds into overtime.
Chiho Osawa skated around the boards with the puck and passed out to Toko, who scored the game winner that started the Japanese celebrating and the defenseman crying in happiness.
Japan now will play Switzerland with a chance at the country's highest finish, with fifth place on the line Tuesday.
Sweden, which lost in the quarterfinals to Finland, will play the combined Korea team for the final two spots in the eight-team tournament.
The Czech Republic will finish top of Group A in the men's Pyeongchang Olympic hockey tournament after beating Switzerland 4-1.
Dominik Kubalik scored the game-winning goal for the Czech Republic on Sunday three minutes into the third period off Jan Kovar's pass into the slot. Michal Repik had put the Czechs ahead in the first period, though Thomas Rufenacht soon responded with a goal for Switzerland.
Roman Cervenka and Repik secured the win with empty-netters as Switzerland tried to send the game to overtime.
Czech goaltender Pavel Francouz allowed one goal from 29 shots in his third game of the tournament.
It was the third win for the Czechs, who had earlier beaten South Korea 2-1 before winning 3-2 in a shootout against Canada on Saturday.
The Winter Olympics are more than halfway done, and the Russians still don't have a gold medal.
It's an unpleasant experience for the nation that finished top of the medal table in Sochi with 13 gold medals — though two have since been stripped for doping.
But then again, the country of Russia is not here.
On the wall of the "Olympic Athletes from Russia" delegation office in Pyeongchang is a board with Russian medal winners' photos attached under pictures of gold, silver and bronze medals. The gold column is empty.
Like most of the world, Russia counts gold medals first in the standings, so to sit behind gold-winning Belarus and Britain is galling.
Dozens of Russian athletes weren't invited to the games because the International Olympic Committee said it couldn't be sure they hadn't been part of doping schemes.
Norway has continued its dominance in cross-country skiing by winning the gold medal in the men's 4x10-kilometer relay.
The team of Didrik Toenseth, Martin Johnsrud Sundby, Simen Hegstad Krueger and Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo won the race in 1 hour, 33 minutes and 4.9 seconds to beat the second-place Russian athletes by 9.4 seconds. France captured the bronze.
Norway has now won five of the eight gold medals awarded in cross-country at the Pyeongchang Games, and 11 medals overall. The record for most gold medals in cross-country in a single Olympic Games is 13, set by the Soviet Union in Calgary in 1988.
Krueger battled back from 24.5 seconds down at the midway point of the race to give Norway the lead. Klaebo took it from there, pulling away from Russian anchor Denis Spitsov in the final 1 1/2 kilometers to deny the Russians their first Pyeongchang gold medal.
Sweden had won this event in the previous two Olympics but finished in fifth place more than 2 minutes behind.
Some three dozen figure skaters in the Pyeongchang Games are competing for nations other than the ones where they were born.
There's a Russian skating for Australia who at first thought she was headed to Austria. Two Americans are ice dancing for host South Korea. Another American is competing for Brazil. Four members of the Israeli team are not natives.
Then there are pairs and ice dancing teams where the members are from two different countries and competing for a third.
Sometimes such pairings fail because the skaters are at different levels, and there can be language difficulties. But they can also work beautifully: Aliona Savchenko of Ukraine and Bruno Massot of France won gold for Germany in the pairs competition.
Ted Ligety's defense of his Olympic giant slalom gold medal has ended with a 15th-place finish behind Austrian Marcel Hirscher.
Ligety knew he hadn't turned in the best opening run, but what he couldn't tell as he was heading down the hill was just how poorly he'd done.
The American says he was "really surprised" when he saw his time.
He says, "It didn't feel like I crushed it," before adding with a chuckle: "But it didn't feel 2½ seconds bad."
Ligety lost more ground to Hirscher in the second leg Sunday and ended up tied for 15th place, 3.21 seconds slower than the winning time of 2 minutes, 18.04 seconds.
Ligety says it was "a really bad day and time to not ski up to the level I wanted to."
Sabrina Zollinger scored on a power play in the first period and Switzerland beat Korea 2-0 in a classification hockey game after routing the Koreans 8-0 in their Olympic opener.
Janine Alder made 19 saves for the shutout Sunday, with Florence Schelling getting a day off after playing in a 6-2 loss to the "Olympic athletes from Russia" in the quarterfinals. Evelina Raselli also scored for the Russians, who won bronze in Sochi.
They will play either Sweden or Japan for their final slotting Tuesday.
Shin So Jung made 51 saves, and the Koreans also killed three of four penalties. Shin gave up a hat trick to Alina Muller in the first period of the opener against Switzerland, and she said she felt a little pressure.
Patrick Hager scored in regulation and again in a shootout as Germany beat Norway 2-1 to wrap up group play at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
Danny aus den Birken made 28 saves and stopped all three shots he saw in the shootout Sunday.
Germany opened the scoring on a power play in the second when Hager took a pass from Dominik Kahun and stuffed the puck past goaltender Lars Haugen.
Norway tied the game in the third period. Both teams played cautiously in overtime, with Norway failing to capitalize even with nearly two minutes on the man advantage.
Haugen made 36 saves but didn't stop a shot in the shootout.
Both teams face elimination games Tuesday to get into the quarterfinals.
Marcel Hirscher has won the Olympic men's giant slalom. It's his second gold medal at the Pyeongchang Games.
The 28-year-old Austrian star extended his first-run lead to win by a huge margin of 1.27 seconds over hard-charging Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway. Kristoffersen rose from 10th-fastest in the morning.
Bronze medalist Alexis Pinturault of France finished 1.31 behind Hirscher's two-run time of 2 minutes, 18.04 seconds.
Hirscher can complete a sweep of three individual titles in his best event, the slalom, which is scheduled for Thursday.
Hirscher also won the Alpine combined Tuesday. Pinturault took silver in that race.
Norway's Oystein Braaten has captured the gold medal in ski slopestyle at the Pyeongchang Olympics, far outdistancing American Gus Kenworthy, who failed to land any of his three runs and came in last.
Braaten edged out American Nick Goepper, who added a silver medal to the bronze he won four years ago in Sochi.
Canadian Alex Beaulieu-Marchand took the bronze.
The buzz for this event swirled around Kenworthy, who came out as gay about two years after capturing the silver medal in Russia and has since become a strong voice in the LGBT community.
With family and boyfriend Matt Wilkas watching, Kenworthy bobbled all three runs in the finals. After the last one, he shrugged, shook his head and said, "It's OK," to the TV cameras before walking off the course.
Ticket sales for the Pyeongchang Olympics have exceeded 1 million.
Local organizing committee spokesman Sung Baik-you says the 1 million mark exceeds expectations — 692,443 people attended games venues from Feb. 9 to Feb. 17, and there's still about a week remaining.
Sung says, "Our target was 1,068,000, so we don't have many tickets remaining."
Attendance peaked Saturday, with 146,506 people attending on a holiday for the Lunar New Year. There were long delays in traffic around Pyeongchang on a holiday that usually is the busiest on Korean roads every year, but games organizers weren't disappointed.
Sung acknowledges traffic jams and bus operation interruptions but says, "Nonetheless, I think we can say we were successful in attracting spectators, so it was a positive thing."
Lindsey Vonn has returned to the Olympic Alpine speed race course, where she was fastest in a practice run for Wednesday's downhill race.
One day after placing sixth in the super-G at Jeongseon, Vonn clocked 1 minute, 41.03 seconds on the 1 ¾-mile (2.8-kilometer) downhill course.
The American star was 0.18 seconds faster than Ramona Siebenhofer, with the Austrian's time recorded despite missing a gate.
Alice McKennis of the United States was third-fastest, 0.53 behind Vonn.
Sunday's practice was the first of three official training days before Vonn tries to regain the Olympic title she won in 2010.
The surprise super-G gold medalist, Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic, did not take part in the practice. Ledecka is also due to compete in snowboard parallel giant slalom this week.
Russian officials have a store of uniforms ready if their team is formally reinstated for the Pyeongchang Olympics closing ceremony.
The head of the delegation of "Olympic Athletes from Russia" Stanislav Pozdnyakov, wouldn't say where the uniforms are being stored, but says "as regards the closing ceremony, we're ready for any development, including with extra uniforms."
Russian athletes in Pyeongchang have been required to compete under the Olympic flag in neutral uniforms as punishment for Russian doping at the 2014 Games in Sochi.
The International Olympic Committee says it could allow them to attend the closing ceremony in Team Russia uniforms under the Russian flag if the team keeps to its IOC-mandated status during the competitions. A decision is expected Saturday, the day before the ceremony.
Pozdnyakov declines to say where the equipment is being kept, but says "if we need them, they'll arrive on time. For the ceremony, all the athletes will have them."
Pyeongchang Olympics organizers say the Korean man who died after being found unresponsive at a media village was a 53-year-old interpreter working for a consortium of Japanese broadcasters.
Organizing committee spokesman Sung Baik-you says the man had cardiac arrest.
The man was not responsive when he was found Friday in his room by a co-worker. He was pronounced dead on arrival at a nearby hospital.
Sung says organizers will not release the man's name out of respect for the man's family.
How do Olympians celebrate winning gold medals? If you're Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic, you go to KFC.
Ledecka had a surprise victory Saturday in the super-G at the Pyeongchang Olympics. She's also a snowboarder, and that was supposed to be her best chance for a medal.
Associated Press reporters ran into her later that night at the KFC not far from the snowboard course, where she'll compete Thursday in qualifying for the parallel giant slalom.
She said she still couldn't really believe she'd won. Clearly, she hadn't made plans for a big celebration.
She ate quietly, basically unnoticed, with three other members of the Czech contingent.
As she stood up to leave, she casually picked up her gold medal and draped it around her neck. The people at the next table clapped.
Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, the "king of the biathlon," says he's anxious to see Norway cross-country skier Marit Bjoergen surpass his record of 13 medals and become the most decorated athlete in the history of the Winter Games.
Bjoergen won her 13th medal Saturday, taking home gold in the women's relay.
Bjoerndalen thinks Bjoergen will break the record before the games are over. There are two more women's cross-country events — the team sprint relay on Wednesday and the mass start on Sunday.
Bjoergen, who is 37, says she won't allow herself to think about the record. She's just focused on the next race.
Two top racers have had crashing falls though the finish line in the Olympic men's giant slalom.
Both Luca de Aliprandini of Italy and Manuel Feller of Austria lost balance approaching the next-to-last gate and were disqualified.
De Aliprandini was set for the second-fastest time behind leader Marcel Hirscher of Austria when he went across the course into safety nets. He appeared to hurt his left leg.
Feller was turned around and slid backwards on his back. The race started under blue skies on a clear, cold day at Yongpyong Alpine Center.
Hirscher, who already won gold in Alpine combined, was fastest by 0.63 seconds after 10 skiers had started.
More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org