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PyeongChang late night roundup

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Freestyle Skiing: Lillis out

World champion Jonathon Lillis was eliminated in the second round of the finals, finishing eighth in a round that awarded the top six a spot in the penultimate round.

Oleksandr Abramenko won the gold medal for Ukraine.

Full aerials recap available here 

Speed Skating: Bowe just misses out on medal

Brittany Bowe just missed out on an Olympic medal. In the 11th pair, Bowe took advantage of the inside lane heading into the finish to lead the field with a time of 37.53 seconds. Four skaters from the last three pairs ended up finishing better than Bowe, including Nao Kaodira who won the gold by setting a new Olympic Record.

The American team – Joey Mantia, Emery Lehman, and Brian Hansen – were eliminated in the first heat of the men’s team pursuit. The U.S., who were in the fourth pairing alongside Netherlands, finished eighth out of eighth.

Alpine Skiing: Hirscher wins second gold 

The Austrian skier was considered to be one of the greatest athletes not to have won an Olympic medal, but Hirsher laid that premonition to rest earlier this week by winning his first medal. He doubled that tally count tonight when he won the men’s giant slalom by a massive 1.27 second margin.

Ted Ligety failed to make much of an impact in the men’s giant slalom, finishing tied for 15th.

Full recap available here

 

Hockey

Germany won their first game of the Olympics following a shootout victory over winless Norway. Germany were given a five minute power play after a dangerous check by a Norwegian player, but failed to capitalize on that and had to settle for a shootout win.

Czech Republic defeated Switzerland, clinching a first round bye in the quarterfinals.

In the women’s classification phase, an over-time goal by Toko Ayaka gave Japan a 2-1 victory, their second this tournament.

Men’s Tournament

CZE def. SUI 4-1

GER def. NOR 2-1 (SO)

Women’s Tournament

Classification: JPN def. SWE 2-1

 

Cross-Country: Norway win 4x10km relay 

Simen Hanstead Krueger began Norway’s mid-race surge to Olympic gold in the men’s 4x10km relay, making up a gap that was stretched to more than 20 seconds. It was the spring champion, Johannes Klaebo who put the race to bed in the final 1.5km.

Olympic Athletes from Russia and France finished second and third, respectively.

Two-time Olympic champions Sweden had a disappointing day, finishing in fifth place.

Biathlon: Fourcade wins mass start in photo finish 

It was a race down to the last 100 meters between heavy gold medal favorite Martin Fourcade and Simon Schempp. Both biathletes were part of the leading trio with Erik Lesser. Once Lesser missed two of his shots in the final round, the former two sprung ahead.

Mere millimeters separated Fourcade from Schempp, and it was the Frenchman who just barely crossed the line first.

Curling: Canada win second straight game 

The Canadian women now improve to 2-3, slowly making up for their disastrous start to the Olympics, after a 10-8 victory of Switzerland. The Swiss held a 7-4 lead at one point during the game, but Canada were able to battle back in the 10th end.

Sweden saw off a difficult opponent in Great Britain and now move to 5-0, further cementing their status as the team to beat.

Women’s Tournament

KOR def. CHN 12-5

CAN def. SUI 10-8

SWE def. GBR 8-6

Full curling recap available here 

Ski Jumping: Stoch defends gold medal

Kamil Stoch of Poland successfully defended his Olympic gold medal in the large hill, outperforming Andreas Wellinger. Stoch is just one of three ski jumpers to win three Olympic medals.

Full ski jumping recap available here

 

 

Chinese figure skating judges banned for biased Olympic scoring

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Two Chinese figure skating judges were suspended by the International Skating Union for biased judging at the PyeongChang Olympics.

Chen Weiguang and Huang Feng had “preferential marking” for top Chinese skaters Jin Boyang (fourth place in PyeongChang) and the silver medalist pairs’ team of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, respectively, according to the ISU.

Chen was banned two years and excluded from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Huang got a one-year ban.

Chen awarded her highest grades of execution scores of the men’s competition to Jin, as well as her second-highest program components scores, trailing only gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu. Both sets of scores, in both the short and long programs, were out of line with the other eight judges.

“There is evidence of preference for the Chinese skater and prejudice against his strongest competitors,” an ISU report read. “Her marks were completely unrealistic.”

The pairs’ judge Huang “obviously favored his pair also vis-à-vis the other top candidates for the Olympic gold medal,” the ISU said in a report, referencing inflated scores for Sui and Han and lower scores for gold and bronze medalists Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada.

Huang was warned one month before the Olympics by the ISU for biased judging at the December 2017 Grand Prix Final pairs’ event.

Both suspensions are subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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Javier Fernandez to skip Grand Prix, still compete next season

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Javier Fernandez, who in PyeongChang became the first Spanish Olympic figure skating medalist, will skip the fall Grand Prix series but return for January’s European Championships, which could be his final competition.

Europeans will be Fernandez’s focus for the season, his agent said Tuesday.

Fernandez, 26, added an Olympic bronze medal to his 2015 and 2016 World titles. He has said that his third Olympics in PyeongChang would be his last. But Fernandez did not say he would retire after the Winter Games, though he did skip the world championships in March.

Fernandez now plans to compete in his 13th straight European Championships in Minsk in January. He won the last six titles. It’s unknown if he will continue on to the world championships in Saitama, Japan, in March.

In Fernandez’s absence, the top male singles skaters in the fall Grand Prix season should be double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, PyeongChang silver medalist Shoma Uno and American Nathan Chen, who was fifth at the Olympics after a disastrous short program but ran away with March’s world title by the largest margin in history.

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