Considered a gold medal contender going into today’s cross-country individual sprint, Kikkan Randall has come up empty-handed.
The American World Cup sprint champion got a tough draw for her quarterfinal heat, which included not one but two of her biggest rivals for sprint gold in Norway’s Marit Bjorgen and Germany’s Denise Herrmann.
Randall was able to charge to the front of the heat, but then fell back late and finished a disappointing fourth behind Herrmann, Bjorgen and Italy’s Gaia Vuerich.
Herrmann and Bjorgen automatically advanced out as the top two finishers in the heat, and Randall failed to be one of the two “lucky losers” – the two fastest third or fourth-place finishers – that also go to the next round.
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She lost out on a “lucky loser” spot by a mere five one-hundredths of a second to Vuerich.
Sochi marks Randall’s fourth Olympics and she was hoping to become the first American woman to win an Olympic medal and the first American man or woman to win cross-country gold.
Instead, her teammate, Sophie Caldwell, will look to get that chance after she advanced into the semis. She is the lone American in that round, after Randall, along with Ida Sargent and Jessie Diggins, were unable to move on.
One of Randall’s teammates, Holly Brooks, reacted to Randall’s early defeat on Twitter:
JEONGSEON, South Korea — The United States has a fixation at the Olympics on winning gold. Lindsey Vonn showed Wednesday how to win bronze.
“I skied a great race today,” Vonn also said. “Sofia [Goggia] just skied better than I did.”
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She also said she hoped she had made her grandfather proud. Dabbing away tears, she said: “It’s sad. This is my last [Olympic] downhill. I wish I could keep going, you know? I had so much fun. I love what I do. My body just can’t — probably can’t — take another four years. But — I don’t know, I’m proud. I’m proud to have competed for my country. Proud to have given it my all. I’m proud to have … come away with a medal.”
Pilot Mariama Jamanka and Lisa Buckwitz won Germany’s latest gold in a sliding sport in PyeongChang, defeating Team USA’s Elana Meyers Taylor sled by 0.07 seconds. Meyers Taylor, along with brakeman Lauren Gibbs, matched the silver she won in Sochi.
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Jamanka led after two runs, and delivered in Run 3, setting a track record with a phenomenal run down the course. She hit the lines perfectly to put the pressure on Meyers Taylor — and Meyers Taylor, who has dealt with an achilles injury in PyeongChang, delivered with a course record of her own. She was 0.07 seconds back after two runs, but closed the gap to 0.04 heading into the final run.
The stage was set for a thrilling final leg. It, too, did not disappoint. Elana Meyers had her best run of the Games, but Jamanka matched it, to give Germany yet another win on the PyeongChang sliding course.
To read the full recap, click here
Gold: Mariama Jamanka and Lisa Buckwitz (GER) – 3:22.45
Silver: Elana Meyers-Taylor and Lauren Gibbs (USA) – 3:22.52
Bronze: Kaillee Humphries and Phylicia George (CAN) – 3:22.89
4. Annika Drazek and Stephanie Schneider (GER) – 3:22.97
5. Jamie Greubel Poser and Aja Evans (USA) – 3:23.02