Which nation wins most medals in PyeongChang? Germany looks golden

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Germany will top the PyeongChang Olympic medal standings if results repeat from this season’s winter sports world championships.

Germans have easily won the most medals (34) and golds (18) in Olympic events across this season’s world championships. A total of 100 of the 102 Olympic events (or their equivalents) have had their world championships contested already this season.

While men’s hockey and mixed doubles curling worlds are still to take place, Germany’s lead is insurmountable.

The medal standings:

Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
Germany 18 10 6 34
USA 12 7 9 28
Norway 8 9 10 27
Canada 7 11 8 26
France 5 8 9 22
Austria 8 5 7 20
Russia 4 8 7 19
Netherlands 10 3 5 18
Japan 4 7 4 15
Switzerland 3 6 5 14
China 4 3 3 10
Sweden 2 4 4 10
South Korea 3 1 4 8

Germany cleaned up in its hallmark sliding sports, winning seven gold medals in 10 events at bobsled, luge and skeleton world championships (aided significantly by hosting bobsled and skeleton worlds). It also earned seven of 11 golds at biathlon worlds and swept the three Nordic combined gold medals.

Germany topped the Winter Olympic medal standings in 1998, 2002 and 2006. It slipped to second behind the U.S. at Vancouver 2010.

In Sochi, Germany fell all the way down to sixth in total medals with 19, its fewest since reuniting East and West Germany at the Olympics 25 years ago.

The U.S. is likely to finish second in the world championships medal table, setting up well to repeat its second-place finish in the Sochi Olympic medal standings next year.

The Americans excelled in a number of sports this season. They range from the traditional strengths — freestyle skiing and snowboarding — to events with no Olympic medal history — biathlon and women’s cross-country skiing.

Russia, embroiled in a doping scandal, is not looking like the power that topped the Sochi standings with 33 medals and 13 golds. This winter, Russians have earned just four gold medals and rank seventh in total medals.

Russia finished sixth, fifth and sixth in total medals in the three Winter Games before Sochi. It appears likely to revert toward those places in PyeongChang, assuming it is able to send a full delegation.

Meanwhile, Olympic host country South Korea has earned eight medals this season, all in short- and long-track speed skating. That’s good for 13th place, which would match its output in Sochi.

South Korean athletes will undoubtedly receive a home-field advantage next February, likely resulting in a medal boost since most world championships were held in Europe.

They better. South Korean sports officials have repeated that the 2018 Olympic medal target is 20 overall, with eight gold, more than double the totals from this world championships season.

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MORE: PyeongChang 2018 daily schedule highlights

IOC expects decisions on Russian doping cases next month

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Investigators at the International Olympic Committee expect to have “a number” of doping cases involving Russians at the Sochi Olympics resolved by the end of November, but they have no plans to dictate the eligibility of these athletes for next year’s Winter Games in PyeongChang.

The leader of an IOC delegation in charge of reviewing 28 cases involving athletes at Sochi wrote to the head of the IOC Athletes Commission this week to update the timeline of cases stemming from a report detailing a Russian doping scheme at the 2014 Olympics and beforehand.

Denis Oswald said that of the cases his committee is reviewing, priority has been given to those involving athletes looking to compete in PyeongChang. Top priority goes to six cross-country skiers whose provisional suspensions expire Oct. 31.

Oswald also said his committee would rule on these athletes’ results for Sochi, but will not determine their eligibility for PyeongChang, instead handing over evidence to their respective sports federations to decide.

The IOC also appointed a task force to look at the Russian doping scandal as a whole, the results of which could have wider repercussions on the country’s eligibility at next year’s Olympics.

In a separate letter sent to worldwide sports leaders, IOC President Thomas Bach said only that the Schmid Commission is continuing its evaluation and that “I hope that the IOC Executive Board will still be able to take a decision this year because none of us want this serious issue to overshadow” the upcoming Olympics.

The updates come amid a growing chorus of calls for a timely decision and for Russia’s ouster from PyeongChang.

The IOC commissions are operating off information from the McLaren Report, the first part of which was released in July 2016.

In explaining the timeline, Oswald wrote that because the Russian scheme involved exchanging dirty urine samples with clean ones, it took time to adopt methods to verify that samples had been tampered with — in part by finding evidence of scratch marks on collection bottles that had been opened and re-sealed.

“The task has not been easy in both establishing a methodology in an area in which there are no established protocols,” he wrote, “and then moving through the necessary scientific analysis of each individual sample in a way which would withstand legal challenge.”

MORE: USOC boss calls for immediate action on Russian doping

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Two-time Olympian becomes first woman to lead U.S. national swim team

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Two-time Olympian Lindsay Mintenko has been picked to lead the U.S. national swimming team. She is the first woman to hold the title.

USA Swimming made the announcement Wednesday.

Mintenko replaces Frank Busch, who retired Oct. 1 as managing director. She has been a member of the national team staff since 2006.

During her swimming career, Mintenko won gold medals as a U.S. team captain at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics 800m freestyle relay and added a silver in 2004 on the 400m freestyle relay.

USA Swimming also announced an organizational restructuring that will place all technical divisions, including the national team, under the oversight of chief operating officer Mike Unger.

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