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PyeongChang late night roundup

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Hockey: USA cruises into final 

The United States crushed Finland 5-0 to advance to another Olympic final, where they will meet. The USA out shot Finland 38-14. The shooting reflects Team USA’s dominance, which especially came on a five-on-three powerplay in the second period that saw them score two goals in two minutes.

The United States will play the winner of Canada/OAR in the gold medal match. Finland will play against the loser in the bronze medal match.

Women’s Tournament

USA def. FIN 5-0

Curling: USA claims big win over Canada

The United States pulled off a terrific win over Canada tonight, giving their marginal playoff hopes a boost. The U.S. now sit 3-4 in round robin play, and must still win out if they are to have any hope of progressing at all. It doesn’t help that Great Britain won, though. Canada, Sweden, and Switzerland look like they’ll be making the playoffs, leaving just one left to fight for.

Team GB are in pole position to claim that after defeating Denmark. Japan and Norway are sitting 3-3 (half a game back). The U.S. are one game back with games to play against Great Britain and Switzerland.

Men’s Tournament

USA def. CAN 9-7

GBR def. DEN 7-6

SUI def. SWE 10-3

Full curling recap available here

Speed Skating: USA advances to women’s team pursuit semifinals 

Heather Bergsma, Brittany Bowe, and Mia Manganello overcame tired legs to advance to the semifinals of the women’s team pursuit.

The Americans got off to a quick start, keeping within one second of the Netherlands, but tired legs began to wear down Bowe and Bergsma – both competed in the 500m, 1,000m, and 1,500m. The Americans managed to hold on, though, finishing fourth.

The Netherlands set a new Olympic Record in the quarterfinals with a time of 2:55.61, beating the previous record (which they set) from Sochi.

The Netherlands and USA are paired in the first semifinal; Japan and Canada are paired in the second.

Havard Lorentzen won the men’s 500m speed skating event, setting a new Olympic Record time of 34.41 seconds. His gold medal brings Norway’s total Olympic medal tally to 27.

Alina Zagitova eyes more gold at worlds; women’s preview

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Alina Zagitova hasn’t lost internationally in 18 months, and that doesn’t figure to change this week at the world championships in Milan.

The 15-year-old Russian is favored to become the youngest world gold medalist since Tara Lipinski (duplicating her feat from the Olympics) and make it five straight Olympic or world titles for Russian women, the longest streak for one country since American Carol Heiss won six straight Olympic/world titles from 1956 through 1960.

Zagitova would also become the first Olympic women’s champion to win worlds the following month since Kristi Yamaguchi in 1992. That’s largely because Olympic champions usually skip worlds in Olympic years. Since Yamaguchi, the only one to compete was Yuna Kim, who grabbed silver in 2010.

Zagitova may be young, but she may not have the longevity of Kim to make it to a second Olympics. Russia turns over a new class of elite women’s skaters every year.

Two weeks ago, 13-year-old Alexandra Trusova won the world junior title as the first woman to land two different quadruple jumps in one program. Trusova isn’t old enough to compete at the senior worlds until 2020.

Zagitova’s current rival and training partner, Olympic silver medalist and 2016 and 2017 World champion Yevgenia Medvedeva, withdrew from worlds due to injury.

WORLDS: TV Schedule | Pairs Preview | Nagasu’s Outlook

Which leaves the last two Olympic bronze medalists, Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada and Carolina Kostner of Italy, plus PyeongChang fourth-place finisher Satoko Miyahara of Japan as the top challengers this week.

None finished within seven points of Zagitova at any competition this season, the Russian’s first on the senior international level.

Zagitova set herself apart at the Olympics by putting all of her jumps in the second half of her programs for 10 percent bonuses and landing them all with positive grades of execution.

The U.S. contingent includes national champion Bradie Tennell, two-time Olympian Mirai Nagasu and Mariah Bell (replacement for 2017 U.S. champion Karen Chen).

It is the end of a challenging season for U.S. women. In the autumn, none qualified for the Grand Prix Final for a second straight year (after at least one had done so each of the previous seven seasons).

In PyeongChang, no U.S. woman finished in the top six for the first time in Winter Games history. Tennell, who emerged this season after placing ninth at 2017 Nationals, was the top U.S. Olympic finisher in ninth.

Tennell goes into worlds as the top seeded American — seventh — by best international scores this season.

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MORE: Best figure skating moments from PyeongChang

Olympic golf qualifying, format largely unchanged for 2020

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The Tokyo 2020 Olympic golf tournaments qualifying and format will remain largely the same as they were for the sport’s return to the Games in 2016, according to Golf Channel, citing a memo sent to PGA Tour players.

The format will again be four rounds of stroke play with 60 men and 60 women taken from the world rankings, according to the report.

The qualifying window to determine the rankings will be July 1, 2018 to June 22, 2020 for men and July 8, 2018 to June 29, 2020 for women. That’s a slight change, as for 2016 the dates were the same for men and women.

The 2016 process saw a maximum of two men and two women per country, or up to four if they were ranked in the top 15.

Then-PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said one month after the Rio Games that he hoped the Olympic golf format would be changed to have more medals awarded.

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