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Japan takes on Canada for team gold in speed skating

BEIJING (AP) — The latest news on the Beijing Winter Olympics:


Japan, the reigning Olympic champions, qualified for the women’s speed skating team pursuit final.

The trio of Ayana Sato and sisters Miho and Nana Takagi easily won their semi-final against the Russian team. They will qualify for the gold medal chase later Tuesday against Canada.

The Canadians eliminated 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 hosts China their second Big Air Shougang gold medal, tying Eileen Gu with a dazzling display in front of fans at the revamped steelworks and winning the country’s top prize in Olympic snowboarding.

The 17-year-old child actor-turned-rider followed up his unexpected money in slopestyle – he would have won gold had it not been for an error in judgment – ​​by joining Gu in cementing his celebrity status with a gold medal in the big air.

Gu won the freestyle ski trick competition last week on his final jump, and the celebration briefly broke the Chinese social media website Weibo.


Kamila Valieva’s lawyers say the Russian skater failed a doping test before the Olympics due to contamination from drugs her grandfather was taking.

IOC member Denis Oswald said part of the 15-year-old’s defense was “contamination that happened with a product her grandfather was taking”.

The argument was made during a hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Sunday evening. CAS judges ruled on Monday that Valieva could 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 have her medals taken away later. She helped the Russian team to gold last week and is the favorite in the women’s event from Tuesday.

Valieva and her entourage will be investigated by the Russian anti-doping agency after the Olympics. Even if the Russian investigation exonerates her, the decision will likely be appealed.

Oswald, a veteran sports lawyer who investigated the Sochi Olympics doping scandal cases for the IOC, said Valieva’s lawyers “presented material that cast doubt on her guilt.”

The CAS panel cited several reasons for allowing her to skate, including her status as a minor, potential harm to her career and the delay in notifying Russia of the positive test, from a sample taken on December 25.

Even if she wins another medal, the International Olympic Committee has announced that no medals will be awarded in the events in which Valieva will compete until a full investigation is complete.


The only skier to beat Sofia Goggia in the downhill in the past two seasons beat Sofia Goggia again to win Olympic gold in that event at the Beijing Games.

Corinne Suter, a 27-year-old Swiss skier who injured both legs early in the season, edged Goggia by 0.16 seconds.

Goggia injured her left knee about a month ago but still managed to take the lead by nearly half a second. She let out a long roar after crossing the line, then kissed a TV camera.

Goggia has dominated the downhill in recent seasons and would have been the favorite had he not been injured in 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 suffered a minor leg fracture, as well as tendon damage.

Goggia had won the last eight World Cup downhills she had completed, a streak that began in December 2020. But Suter had won the last downhill race before the Olympics.

Mikaela Shiffrin, who did not finish her first races in either of her first two events, finished in 18th place, 2.49 behind Suter.


The US men’s curling team, the defending Olympic champions, beat Switzerland 7-4 and edged closer to a playoff berth.

John Shuster’s side are in fourth place after their fourth victory, with games against the bottom two teams – Italy and Denmark – remaining. Six wins would certainly earn the 2018 gold medalists a spot in the semi-finals, and five might even be enough.

The Swiss led 4-2 after six sets before the Americans (4-3) scored three straight sets. They collected two points in the seventh with last-rock advantage known as the hammer, then stole a point in the eighth and ninth when Switzerland took the lead.

Defending silver medalists Sweden (7-0) remained unbeaten with an 8-3 win over Denmark in the morning session. Great Britain (5-1) is second and Canada (5-2) beat China 10-8 to retain third place.

The Americans entered the day tied for fourth with Switzerland and Russia, who lost to Norway 12-5.


Defending champion Sofia Goggia will not win a second consecutive Olympic gold medal in women’s downhill.

The Italian took the lead shortly after Mikaela Shiffrin finished her race but Corinne Suter then finished ahead of Goggia. Shiffrin was in 17th place with about half the runners still to come.

Nadia Delago of Italy was third.

Goggia, 29, was injured in a super-G in Cortina d’Ampezzo last month. She partially tore a ligament in her left knee and suffered a minor leg fracture.

Suter would become the first woman since Lindsey Vonn to hold the Olympic and world downhill titles at the same time.


The four-man biathlon relay race scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Tuesday was moved to 2:30 p.m. due to unusually cold temperatures at the Zhangjiakou National Biathlon Stadium.

During the relay, biathletes ski three laps and shoot twice, which means they will spend around 20-30 minutes in the cold on the track – in addition to the time they will spend waiting their turn. They are also at risk of freezing their hands because their trigger fingers are exposed while firing.

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. This means that riders would face dangerous conditions.

These were air temperatures and did not take into account the wind, which was blowing at almost 5 mph (8 km/h). The wind chill makes the actual temperature closer to minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 30 degrees Celsius).


Eileen Gu won another Beijing Games medal with a second-place finish in the women’s ski slopestyle competition. This means she could still become the first action sports athlete to win three medals at the same Winter Games.

Gu’s bid for another gold medal was thwarted by Mathilde Gremaud. The Swiss freestyle skier won the event on an extremely cold and foggy day with temperatures hovering around minus 5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 20 degrees Celsius). Kelly Sildaru of Estonia won bronze.

Gu, the 18-year-old American freestyler who competes for her mother’s home country of China, won the big air competition last week. She also participates in the halfpipe competition.

Sitting in eighth place after two runs, Gu took advantage of a solid final run to fight his way to the podium. She couldn’t catch Gremaud, who scored 86.56 in her second run.


Anna Gasser of Austria won her second consecutive Olympic gold medal in women’s big air snowboarding.

Gasser, 30, held off a field with an average age of 21, including New Zealand’s Zoi Sadowski Synnott, 20, who last week won her country’s first-ever gold medal at the Winter Olympics in slopestyle. Sadowski Synnott clinched silver on Tuesday.

Japan’s Kokomo Murase won bronze with a pair of 1080s at the Big Air Shougang. It was the 17-year-old’s first Olympic medal.


The start of the women’s alpine ski race at the Beijing Games was delayed by at least 30 minutes due to wind.

An hour before the scheduled start of the race, the wind was blowing at around 15 mph (about 25 km/h), with gusts reaching 25 mph (40 km/h) at the top of the hill.

The temperature was minus 5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 20 Celsius).

Defending champion Sofia Goggia starts 13th, immediately after Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States.

The men’s downhill, which was to open the alpine competition on February 6, had to be postponed until the next day because of the wind.


Eileen Gu crashed on her second run and dropped to eighth place in the final of the women’s ski slopestyle competition at the Beijing Games.

Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland took the lead after two of three runs. Estonian Kelly Sildaru is second and American Maggie Voisin third.

Gu overturned on the third rail and fell on snow. She repaired her helmet before descending.

Gu, the 18-year-old American-born freestyler who competes for her mother’s home country of China, is trying to win her second gold medal of these Winter Olympics. She won the big air gold medal last week. She is also entering the halfpipe contest later this week.


Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva says she is happy but exhausted after the end of a grueling doping hearing that allowed her to skate at the Beijing Games.

The 15-year-old told Russian state broadcaster Channel One that the past few days have been very difficult for her.

“I’m happy but I’m emotionally tired,” she said in comments aired Monday night.

Valieva is the favorite for the women’s gold medal alongside her Russian teammates Alexandra Trusova and Anna Shcherbakova. Competition begins with the short program on Tuesday evening Beijing time and continues with the free program on Thursday.

There will be no medal ceremony if Valieva finishes in the top three, as the International Olympic Committee fears she could still be banned for a failed drug test from December 25. This test only came to light after he won team gold with the Russian Olympic Committee last week.


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