A Thursday measurement of the biathlon course for the Sochi Olympics found that the track’s length was shorter than the recommended 2.5 km (1.6 mi) and has brought about the addition of an extra 40 meters, or 130 feet.
The decision has surprised U.S. head coach Per Nilsson, but he told the Associated Press that putting in the course extension was the right choice to make. The extension will be used onward from Sunday’s women’s 7.5K sprint.
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“It’s still the Olympics, so they should have measured that before,” Nilsson said to the AP. “Five percent [deviation] is allowed but this felt like a 7K [for the women’s 7.5K].
“It was the right decision [that] they corrected it. Everybody is happy with that.”
Most courses along the World Cup circuit are inspected several days before competition, but with the IOC’s rules being different, organizers have had less time to make course tweaks.
In addition to the length extension, the starting line has also been moved back an additional 30 meters (98.4 feet).
15-year-old Alina Zagitova won the first gold medal for the Olympic Athletes from Russia on Thursday night in the ladies’ free skate in PyeongChang.
Yevgenia Medvedeva, her training partner and the two-time world champion, earned silver by a margin of 1.31 points. That’s the exact margin Zagitova led Medvedeva by after the short program on Tuesday.
This marks the first time two women from the same country have shared the ladies’ figure skating podium since Tara Lipinski and Michelle Kwan in 1998. Speaking of Lipinski – Zagitova is less than a month older than Lipinski was when she won gold in Nagano, and Zagitova is now the second-youngest individual ladies’ Olympic champion in history.
Kaetlyn Osmond earned bronze – Canada’s first Olympic medal in ladies’ figure skating since 2010.
Gold: Alina Zagitova (OAR)
Silver: Yevgenia Medvedeva (OAR)
Bronze: Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN)
9. Bradie Tennell (USA)
10. Mirai Nagasu (USA)
11. Karen Chen (USA)
Click here to read the full recap and watch highlights from the ladies’ free skate program
Canadian skiers Kelsey Serwa and Brittany Phelan took the top spots in women’s ski cross at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, giving Canada its third consecutive gold medal in this event.
Switzerland’s Fanny Smith edged out Sweden’s Sandra Naeslund in the big final to claim the final spot on the podium.
Read the rest of the story and watch video at NBCOlympics.com