Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 day three: Norway pip GB in curling semis, Wüst makes history – live!

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 day three: Norway pip GB in curling semis, Wüst makes history – live!” was written by Adam Collins (now), with Geoff Lemon and Luke McLaughlin (earlier), for theguardian.com on Monday 7th February 2022 13.57 UTC

And that’s it for the medals at Beijing today. Sweden have only won three medals so far, four fewer than the ROC, but all of them are gold so they sit on top of the table. A lovely quirk. Slovenia, China and Italy all added to their gold columns during tonight’s session.

Curling: Jennifer Dodds and Bruce Mouat are shattered. The latter blames himself for the fade out: “Jen played amazing throughout. That’s the hardest bit for me: I let the team down.” Dodds won’t accept that, praising her partner, but what can you say? They will play Sweden for the bronze medal tomorrow after Italy – participating in this format for the first time – hammered them 8-1.

Norway are into the final, defeating Team GB 6-5

Curling: Not a great final end from GB, giving Norway a paddock to work with to take the shot and the win. And Skaslien pops it on the Olympic rings! Perfect to finish! Indeed, a stirring come-from-behind effort from where they were after five ends, down by two shots. But they nailed their powerplay, hit the lead and never looked back.

Kristin Skaslien of Norway celebrates after her match.
Kristin Skaslien of Norway celebrates after her match. Photograph: Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters

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Curling: we have the grandstand finish here. Team GB only managed to take one shot from their powerplay leaving it 5-5 going into the eighth and final end. With four stones to go, only two are on the dancefloor. Find a telly, this could be a wild conclusion.

Gold to Slovenia!

Ski-jumping: The Mixed Teams final. I haven’t been able to keep an eye on this until now, the last jumps. Can Slovenia’s main man Peter Prevc stick the landing with the final jump of the night? He sure does, and it in some style too. The ROC are easily overtaken, taking silver, with claiming Canada bronze. There was some controversy earlier with equipment control – Germany, the world champions going into the event, kicked out for a suit violation. More to come.

Curling: The powerplay worked, Norway banking three shots in the sixth end to pinch the lead 5-4 with two ends to go! Team GB’s turn to respond, pulling the powerplay lever themselves. “A massive opportunity missed,” says Steve Cram on commentary when Bruce Mouat’s stone doesn’t curl enough to deflect into shot. It allows Norway to pop a guard in with their final stone – also a mistake, we’re told. A sport of strategy, that’s certain. Team GB have called a timeout to consider their options before this vital final stone.

Gold for China! Heartbreak for Hungary! Ziwei Ren wins it!

Oh, the drama. Liu Shaolin Sandor (HUN) did everything right for 999 metres but is knocked off by the TV referee for changing lanes when the Ziwei Ren challenged on the final turn. Goodness me, the infringement must be with no more than a metre to go, as the Hungarian thrust his skate in the air to pass the line first. Brutal. Extraordinary scenes to end a thrilling night of speed skating.

Ziwei Ren of Team China (right) and Shaoang Liu of Team Hungary collide as they cross the finish line.
Ziwei Ren of Team China (right) and Shaoang Liu of Team Hungary collide as they cross the finish line. Photograph: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

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We’re nearly away in the men’s 1000m final. They’ve been pulled up on safety grounds at their first attempt. Now, something similiar how this event was won at Salt Lake City in 2002? Go on, do it.

That could have been a lot worse for Norway, but they complete a bad end giving up just one shot, GB leading 4-2 with three to play. Norway use their powerplay! The place stones are moved off to the left, while they hold the hammer. In summary, it gives them a better chance to rack up multiple shots in one end. And they’ll need to.

Gold for Italy! Arianna Fontana defends her title!

A staggering ten Olympics medals for the 31-year-old champion, two of them gold in this 500m event. She made the move with one and a half laps to go, finding an inside angle on Suzanne Schulting, and that was that. What a mighty performance in both the semi and the final.

GOLD – Adrianna Fontana (ITA)
SILVER – Suzanne Schulting (NED)
BRONZE – Kim Boutin (CAN)

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They’re about to jump in the women’s 500m final. Buckle up!

I can’t speak with real authority on the career of Kristin Skaslien, but on the available evidence, she is a clutch performer. With the final stone here, she steals the win over GB who had three shots in position. After four ends – the halfway mark – Dodds/Mouat lead 3-2. Meanwhile in the other semi, Italy are thumping Sweden 5-0.

“It’s not over until the bloke with the clipboard sings,” writes Mysterion_Voice on twitter of the short-track speed skating. And so it goes with the second-semi of the men’s 1000m with Hungarian Liu Shaoang getting the nod and Juneso Le (KOR) given the flick by the TV official with the latter tripping the former in their battle for second, so it was decided after several minutes of deliberation.

The five finalists are:

Ren Ziwei (CHN), Shaolin Sandor Lui (HUN), Li Wenlong (CHN), Wu Dajing (CHN) and Liu Shaoang (HUN).

First up though, the women’s 500m final – all the stars made it:

Adriana Fontana (ITA), Kim Boutin (CAN), Suzanne Shulting (NED), Zhang Yuting (CHN) and Hanne Desmet (BEL).

It’s punch for punch in the curling. Skaslien didn’t get it right in the first end but did with the decisive stone of the second, knocking the Team GB pair out of shot. But they’ve bounced back in style in the next end, getting three shots in place early. It’s up to Skaslien again who drives with the precision of Rob Parella in the gold medal game of the lawn bowls at the Auckland 1990 Comm Games. She’s succesful in knocking two away from danger – nicely played. But can Dodds slot in a second with the final stone? She sure can! Centimetre perfect grom the Scot! So, after three ends, the GB pair lead 3-1.

Great Britain’s Jennifer Dodds.
Great Britain’s Jennifer Dodds. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA

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Supreme work from Arianna Fontana (ITA). The defending champion overtook Kim Boutin (CAN), the world record holder, with a thundering turn of pace at the start the last lap. They both advance to the final of the women’s 500m. A fall in the second semi, Desmet (BEL) hitting the deck when in second spot but she was well behind Suzanne Schulting (NED) who is through easily. There’s a review to determine what happened to Desmet… and she’s saved by the television ref! The push was detected, the penalty issued. Zhang Yuting (CHN) makes the cut too. Five skaters will race for gold.

The pressure on Skaslien, she has to thread the needle with the final stone of the first end… and doesn’t come close – gave it too much welly. A top start for Team GB, they lead 1-0.

Brendan Corey is out of the men’s short track speed skating. The Australian was in third when the bell rang, tried to find a gap that wasn’t there to enter the top two and finished in the wall instead.

And while we’re back at the skating for a moment, here are the semi-final start lists for the women’s 500m – coming up shortly.

Semi-final one:
Kim Boutin (CAN)
Adrianna Fontana (ITA)
Adrianna Valcepina (ITA)
Elena Sergina (ROC)
Alyson Charles (CAN)

Semi-final two:
Suzanne Schulting (NED)
Hanne Desmet (BEL)
Qu Chunya (CHN)
Petra Jaszapati (HUN)
Zhang Yuting (CHN)

To the curling! A huge moment for Team GB’s mixed doubles pair Jennifer Dodds and Bruce Mouat – time for their semi-final against Norway’s Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten. It’s the best of eight ends with the Norwegians holding the hammer for the first of those on the basis that they finished higher on the table. Dodds has the first stone and lands it right on the Olympic rings. We’re away.

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The men’s 1000m quarters begin. And three skaters are on the ice with laps to go, Andrew Heo (USA) and Jordan Pierre-Gilles (CAN) able to walk to the line and the semis. Yikes, that was a big tumble for Korean Janghyuk Park – the medical team are taking him away with a banged-up wrist. He’s not in a good way, the poor fella.

“Are you out in Beijing Adam?” asks Michael Simpson. “Slightly colder sporting disciplines than the usual for yourself!” True enough – not conventional cricket weather; currently -1 in the Chinese capital. However, brilliant as it would be, I’m not in situ.

Arianna Fortana has nine Olympic medals and she’s every chance of adding a tenth for Italy later tonight, cruising through her quarter final while her competitors took each other out in pursuit. “Oh dear” says the caller after a second false start to the fourth race, wiping out another Italian, Martina Valcepina. “That’s a tough one to take.” Now a broken skate when they have a fourth crack at starting the race. I might leave it there for now but if the rest of the night at the Capital Indoor Stadium runs like that, it’ll make brilliant TV.

Some drama to start the short-track quarters! Naturally. Women’s 500m to begin. Kim Boutin, Canadian superstar, is through easily and it is a Canadian one, two “but not the two we were expecting” says the race caller after Alyson Charles hits the deck during the final lap! Upstairs we go with the television referee to decide what went on and he decides it was the third Canadian, Florence Brunelle, at fault. Thus, he gives Charles a ticket to the semi-final along with Italian Arianna Valcepina. The TV official will be a busy boy tonight.

Alyson Charles of Canada falls during the women’s 500m quarter finals.
Alyson Charles of Canada falls during the women’s 500m quarter finals. Photograph: How Hwee Young/EPA

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I neglected to mention, there is also an Australian in the 1000m short-track speed skating – quarter-finals starting shortly. Brendan Corey, a 20-year-old who was born in Canada before moving with his family a couple of years ago, broke the national record in the heats.

Of course, it is 20 years since Steven Bradbury won Australia’s first gold medal in Winter Games history in the same event. A lovely fella and true pioneer in his field – an awful lot more than the meme of that wildly bonkers final at Salt Lake City. Still, what a moment.

Nice job, Luke. Hello everyone. It’s 7pm Beijing time on the first Monday of these XXIV Winter Games, and I assure you there’s plenty coming between now and the close of play in the Olympic City.

Firstly, from a Team GB perspective, in about an hour we’re up to the business end of the mixed doubles curling with Jennifer Dodds and Bruce Mouat in their semi-final against Norway’s Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten. But it’s worth noting the married Norwegian duo (we’ll talk more about this later, I’m sure) accounted for the Scots them comfortably, 6-2, in the round-robin stage.

Throughout that clash, we’ll also have a close eye on the chaos of the short-track speed skating, from the quarter-finals, starting in half an hour, to the medal races in the women’s 500m and men’s 1000m. Can Canadian superstar Kim Boutin add gold to her silver and two bronze medals at Pyeongchang? For the men, Wu Dajing is looking to defend his Olympic crown in this event and secure the host nation their second gold of these Games so far.

Just before 9pm in China we’ll be off to the mixed team ski-jumping as well – the first time that it has been run and won at the Olympics. It is an event where four competitors jump for each nation, two men and two women. Germany go in as world champions from 2021.

Then deeper into the night, at Yanqing Sliding Centre, the women will be in the early stages of their single luge competition. And lastly, more women’s ice hockey at the national indoor stadium – China v Sweden and Swizerland v Finland – to round out the night.

Keep me company by dropping me a line or pinging me a tweet.

That’s all from me. I’ll hand you over to my colleague Adam Collins to take you through to close of play.

Another member of the Sadowski-Synnott family has struck gold after Zoi Sadowski-Synnott’s dad Sean went viral on social media for a sweary live television interview in New Zealand, in the wake of her winning the nation’s first ever Winter Olympics gold medal.

Daniel Hemetsberger. As I said, ouch.

Daniel Hemetsberger of Austria.
Daniel Hemetsberger of Austria. Photograph: Luca Bruno/AP

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Evocative images from day three. I was going to say beautiful, but there is one of the skier Daniel Hemetsberger, of Austria, with blood all over his face after he hit a gate in the men’s downhill. Ouch.

The medal ceremony for the women’s 15km biathlon is ongoing now. There is a huge smile from Denise Herrmann of Germany as she takes the top step of the podium. She jumps up and down in delight and waves to the camera. A fine effort – the first German to win gold in the event since 2002.

Denmark close out a 3-2 win against Czech Republic in Group B of the women’s ice hockey.

A Polish short-track speed skater recalled on Monday “crying like crazy” in the back of an ambulance after a 3am knock on the door of her isolation hotel room at the Winter Games by employees wearing cameras on their belts.

The speed skating great Ireen Wüst swept around the Beijing oval in a time of 1:53.28secs to win the 1500m at the Winter Games on Monday and claim her sixth Olympic gold medal. Wüst, the reigning champion, set the pace with an Olympic record time in her race and watched on as world record holder Miho Takagi of Japan failed to match it in the final pair.

Takagi claimed the silver behind Wüst for the second successive Olympics in 1:53.72 and Dutchwoman Antoinette de Jong took bronze in 1:54.82. Wüst is the most decorated Dutch Olympian, and adds another gold medal to the five that she has won over four previous Games since her Olympic debut in Turin in 2006. The 35-year-old has said the Beijing Olympics will be her last before she retires. (Reuters)

Ireen Wüst (centre), Miho Takagi (left) and Antoinette de Jong.
Ireen Wüst (centre), Miho Takagi (left) and Antoinette de Jong. Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

On to ice hockey, now … Denmark lead Czech Republic 3-2, with under three minutes to play in the third period, in Group B of the women’s competition. Japan, China and Sweden are the other nations in the group and Japan are currently top with three wins out of two.

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In 90 minutes or so, the Great Britain team go into action in the curling mixed doubles semi-final, against Norway. Italy and Sweden contest the other semi-final.

Here’s a more recent piece, which I confess I missed at the time, by Paul MacInnes on Cornelius Kersten and Ellia Smedding:

“I believe Ellia Smedding is training and living in Heerenveen, where the world-class Thialf ice arena is, since she was a teenager,” writes Stan de Greef on email. “Thanks for your reports on Wüst!”

Thanks for the email, Stan.

Denise Herrman wins 15km individual biathlon gold!

There were 89 starters in the 15km biathlon. A couple of competitors are still out on the course but no one is going to trouble the medal positions now.

Denise Herrmann of Germany takes gold. Anais Chevalier-Bouchet (France) wins silver, with Marte Røiseland (Norway) winning bronze. Vanessa Voigt of Germany misses out on a podium place by less than a second.

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Denise Herrmann of Germany has 15km biathlon gold wrapped up, it seems. It looked like she might have left the door open for someone to overhaul her time, a little earlier, but I don’t think anyone can catch her now.

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Inge Kersten emails from the Netherlands, celebrating Wüst’s incredible success, and also wondering where Ellia Smeding of Great Britain does her training. I confess, I have no idea. Can anyone tell me? Email me!

Here’s a piece from back in 2018, by Andy Bull, on why the Dutch are so good at skating:

The sheer physical effort being expended by the competitors in the 15km biathlon is plain to see. They are, mostly, collapsing in exhaustion at the finish line. Combine the skiing with the mental application and calmness needed for the shooting and it’s an insanely demanding event.

Anyway, as it stands, Herrmann, Chevalier-Bouchet and Røiseland are taking gold, silver and bronze respectively.

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Wüst’s gold-medal streak at the Winter Olympics stretches back to 2006. What a phenomenal achievement.

Vanessa Voigt, of Germany, narrowly misses a podium spot in the women’s 15km biathlon! She comes home less than a second behind Røiseland. Herrmann stays top.

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Herrmann, Chevalier-Bouchet and Røiseland are in the medal positions in the women’s 15km individual biathlon at the moment. Dzinara Alimbekava comes home in 44’44”4 to place fourth, as it stands, and pushes the world champion Marketa Davidova down to fifth.

Denise Herrmann of Germany.
Denise Herrmann of Germany. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

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1500m speed skating gold for Ireen Wüst of the Netherlands!

That’s a sixth career gold medal for the 35-year-old – and she’s now won a gold medal at the last five Winter Olympics. Incredible … that’s the first time, in the Summer or Winter Games, that an athlete has won individual gold at five different Olympics. History.

Ireen Wüst.
Ireen Wüst. Photograph: Sébastien Bozon/AFP/Getty Images

Miho Takagi (Japan) takes the silver medal again, with Antoinette de Jong, Wüst’s compatriot, taking bronze. Ellia Smeding of Great Britain eventually finished 27th.

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Herrmann comes home with 19/20 in the biathlon … she collapses in exhaustion just after the finish line. The German’s mark of 44’12” is currently leading time. That’s 15” ahead of Marte Røiseland of Norway, as it stands. Will it be enough?

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Ragne Wiklund, the 2021 world champion, cannot knock Wüst off the top of the standings in the skating.

Chevalier-Bouchet misses for the first time! Her coach looks annoyed, it was all going so well. She notches 19/20 like Herrman.

Herrman pushed down to sixth in the 15km biathlon … but finishes strongly with a perfect final shoot, and registers 19/20 overall.

Ireen Wüst of the Netherlands sets an Olympic record in the women’s 1500m speed skating final! 1min 53 sec. It’s all happening. Can anyone beat that?

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Anaïs Chevalier-Bouchet of France now leads the 15km women’s biathlon, with 15 out of 15 in the shooting! Herrman, the previous leader, missed a few moments ago.

Davidova nails five out of five on her latest prone shoot and is in second place.

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Beautiful images from yesterday’s action:

In the women’s biathlon, Denise Herrman of Germany is currently leading with two perfect shoots, in other words, 10 out of 10. The world champion, Davidova, is also going well.

The most consistent downhill skier of all time finally added the lone piece of hardware missing from his trophy case on Monday when Switzerland’s Beat Feuz struck gold in the sport’s most prestigious event.

“Hello Luke, Geoff Lemon was right to point out the splendidly named Mac Forehand in the list of qualifiers for the men’s Freeski Big Air,” emails Duncan Cooper from Stockholm.

“His is not the only splendid name in the list, though. Qualifying from Sweden at the bottom of the list is Jesper Tjäder. ‘Tjäder’ is the Swedish word for capercaillie, so his name translates as Jesper Capercaillie. Tremendous.”

That sounds entirely plausible. Thanks Duncan. Personally I think Beat Feuz is hard to, er, beat, when it comes to Winter Olympics names.

Great Britain’s curling semi-final against Norway is coming up at just after 12pm UK time. A little less than three hours away, in other words. Bruce Mouat and Jen Dodds will be assured of a silver medal if they can win it.

The women’s 15km biathlon is under way. Marketa Davidova of Czech Republic, the reigning world champion, has just sped out of the starting gate.

Marketa Davidova of Czech Republic in action.
Marketa Davidova of Czech Republic in action. Photograph: Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters

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Makayla Gerken Schofield, who produced a brilliant run to finish eighth in the women’s moguls yesterday, is having a chat with the BBC now.

Coming up in the next little while: Women’s 15km individual biathlon, short track skating, ski jumping (mixed team – normal hill), and women’s single luge (Run 1)

Evgeniia Lalenkova, of the Russian Olympic Committee, has just gone fastest in the skating. Smeding of Great Britain is out of the top 10.

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There were strange scenes earlier in the women’s ice hockey. A preliminary round game between Canada and the Russian Olympic Committee was delayed by an hour – apparently because the ROC team had failed to provide Covid-19 test results to officials. The match eventually started with players from both teams wearing masks under their helmets:

Ellia Smeding is now seventh-fastest in the 1500m long track speed-skating. I don’t claim to be an expert on this one, but Simon Brotherton on the BBC explained that there are no heats, the skaters go straight into the final, in pairs, and the final leaderboard is compiled that way. Belarus are currently in top position.

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Beat Feuz of Switzerland captured gold in the Olympic men’s downhill. The 41-year-old Johan Clarey of France was 0.10 seconds behind in second and two-time Olympic champion Matthias Mayer of Austria was 0.16 behind in third.

The victory gave Feuz the one thing lacking from a career filled with accomplishments. He won a silver medal in super-G and bronze in downhill at the 2018 Olympics and is the four-time reigning World Cup downhill champion. Feuz is second in this season’s downhill standings. (AP)

Beat Feuz of Switzerland.
Beat Feuz of Switzerland. Photograph: Sean M Haffey/Getty Images

Ellia Smeding, the first Great Britain long track speed skater to compete at the Winter Olympics since 1980, has just contested the 1500m against Huang Yu Ting of Chinese Taipei. Smeding clocks 2min 01sec, 3/10ths slower than her opponent, but that seems to be a very competitive time. The final is continuing in a head-to-head format.

Huang Yu Ting of Taiwan (right) representing Chinese Taipei Ellia Smeding of Great Britain.
Huang Yu Ting of Taiwan (right) representing Chinese Taipei Ellia Smeding of Great Britain. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

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In other news, Peng Shuai gave an interview to L’Equipe – her first to an independent news organisation since the controversy over her Weibo post – and she played the scandal down, calling it an ‘enormous misunderstanding’:

Earlier today, Mikaela Shiffrin was dramatically DQ-ed from the giant slalom after missing a gate on her first run. Here’s our news story:

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Thanks Geoff and hello, everyone. Let’s find out what’s happening in the land of artificial snow.

Righto, that’s me for the day. Luke McLaughlin will be your next ski instructor.

The qualifiers in the men’s Freeski Big Air.

Sweden – Birk RUUD
USA – Alexander HALL
Sweden – Oliwer MAGNUSSON
Sweden – Henrik HARLAUT
USA – Colby STEVENSON
Norway – Christian NUMMEDAL
Norway – Tormod FROSTAD
USA – Mac FOREHAND
Spain -Javier LLISO
Italy – Leonardo DONAGGIO
Canada – Evan McEACHRAN
Sweden – Jesper TJADER

I am sorry for not alerting you earlier that there is a man named Mac Forehand.

Back to the Big Air for a minute. Nine qualified, a few to go.

Here’s some spicy backstory to the Canada-Russians match.

Sara Hector wins gold for Sweden

No surprises there! Recent dominance in the event at other competitions, and the fastest first-run time today. The main challenge for Hector was keeping her cool during the long wait, first with the men’s downhill event sandiwched into the schedule today, and then especially with that injury delay in this race, and having the composure to nail her run. It was slower than her first, 58.13 to 57.56, but that first run gave her the buffer. Wonderful racing.

Brignone takes silver for Italy, Gut-Behrami bronze for Switzerland. Thea Louise Stjernesund, who clocked the fastest run of the day in the second round, ends up sixth.

Gold medalist Sara Hector of Sweden reacts in the finish area.
Gold medalist Sara Hector of Sweden reacts in the finish area. Photograph: Jean-Christophe Bott/EPA

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Katharina Truppe for Austria can’t knock off Brignone, but she does come in third. One to come.

There we go. The Italian Federica Brignone matches her first run, 57.88 and 57.89, to go top of the table. With two racers to come, she’s guaranteed a medal.

Three racers to come in the giant slalom, each with a second of time up their sleeves.

Back underway at the slalom, with O’Brien taken off for medical attention. Ragnhild Mowinckel loses time, makes up time, and ends up in second place for Norway. Her compatriot Stjernesund is still in third.

Over at the Big Air, the Italian skier we were looking at earlier, Leonardo Donaggio, has pulled out a big score on his third jump to get into the qualification bracket when he was out of contention. The top 12 scorers go through to the final.

There’s a long delay with the injury to O’Brien. It must be bad. Looked horrible in real time, right at the end when she was at her fastest. The cameras have cut away to scenic footage. Unnerving.

The final Canada-ROC hockey score is 6-1. I swear that it was 7-1 earlier. Maybe Putin got on the phone.

A couple of nasty crashes as the last few slalom contenders push for everything they can find. Tessa Worley of France gets her arm caught in a gate and goes down hard. She limps off under her own steam. Nina O’Brien from the USA is in a worse way. She loses control right towards the end, is on course for a fast time but can’t hold it together, and crashes right into the last flag before hitting the deck and sliding into the finish area. To add insult to injury she gets disqualified for not clearing the last gate. I’m not entirely sure but she might have been on track for third place if not.

At last, Stjernesund is knocked off. It was always going to be hard to hang on against the fastest racers at the bottom part of the field. Lara Gut-Behrami takes the lead for Switzerland.

In the Big Air, the third round has just begun. These guys do three jumps and take their two best scores. Birk Ruud is back to the top with a 93.25 to add to his 94.5.

Birk Ruud of Team Norway performs a trick during the big air.
Birk Ruud of Team Norway performs a trick during the big air. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

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So if you’re not clear, the slalom racers go twice, and their times are added together to form their final result. Stjernesund had a middling first run of 59.39, but blazed a 57.50 second time around. Her time sees off Michelle Gisin of Switzerland now, so that’s six skiers with a faster first round than Stjernesund who haven’t caught her.

We’ve had 17 racers of 30 so far in the giant slalom. Stjernesund still in front, after five faster first-rounders now.

As we get deeper into the field, these are the racers with the faster first-run times, meaning each of them starts with an advantage over Stjernesund. But so far four of them have failed to use that buffer to catch her second-run time.

Another leader in the giant slalom, Thea Stjernesund for Norway with 57.50, the fastest time of the day.

Hockey: The Canadians are leading 7-1 on goals. The Russians are leading 7-2 on penalty send-offs. Two minutes off the ice for each foul.

Wow! Paula Moltzan (USA) nearly crashes, ending up balancing on one leg with her ski waving around in the air, then somehow recovers to get through the next gate and finish the course. Not only that, she ties for first place! A dead heat.

If you don’t know how slalom works, they have to zigzag back and forth across a slope while going between flags that are placed here and there on the way down. Very fast, and if you miss a gate you’re gone.

Won’t be a shared gold though. New leader Ana Bucik puts the Slovenian flag up top. Frasse Sombet is suddenly out of the medals.

Paula Moltzan of Team United States.
Paula Moltzan of Team United States. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

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So there were 60 giant slalom skiers who got through the first run, of which the fastest 30 get to tackle the second run. Four of those have already crashed out second time around. Austria’s Ramona Siebenhoffer looks set to take top spot but loses her purchase with three gates to go. Tina Robnik of Slovenia goes second behind Frasse Sombet, then Norway’s Maria Tviberg passes them both.

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Canada go up 5-1 in the hockey preliminary round over ROC.

Alex Tilley for Great Britain is ahead of the pace through the first half of her run, but slips just behind Aicher on time towards the bottom. Tilley is currently second but there are faster racers to come.

There’s a crash to follow, the Swedish skier Hilma Loevblom catching her wrist in one of the slalom gates and hurting herself quite badly by the look of it.

Coralie Frasse Sombet clocks the second-fastest run of the day, 57.69, to go top.

The women’s giant slalom second run has begun. These run times get added to their first run to decide the medals. Emma Aicher of Germany starts well with 59 seconds flat, far better than her first run of 1:01:52. But seven racers in the first round went under 59.

This is from Reuters.

New Zealanders were in ecstasy on Sunday when Zoi Sadowski-Synnott won their first-ever Olympic gold medal – none more so than her dad Sean, whose emotional and slightly profane TV interview has since gone viral. “I’m pretty fucking excited to be honest,” he said of his daughter’s victory in the Olympic slopestyle competition, adding another couple of spicy anecdotes in a joyous TV appearance.

“Yeah, I think really that he had a few too many drinks at that point, but you can’t really blame him, it was Waitangi Day in New Zealand (a national holiday) and his daughter just won the Olympics so…!” she told Reuters, laughing. “The last 24 hours has been a whirlwind, super-stoked to be standing here with gold around my neck.”

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Arden also got in on the act, sending a slightly more formal message of congratulations to the snowboarder.

“Honestly the reaction has been absolutely insane, I haven’t been able to keep up with all the support and love that I’ve got and then I got a shoutout from Jacinda. So yeah, I told her that we say hi from the whole team here in Beijing, and we hope to make them proud.”

Her dad’s reaction was a reflection of Kiwi delight all over the country, Zoi’s coach Sean Thomson said. “He’s amazing, it just was so cool to see the emotion coming out of him in that clip,” he told Reuters. “We loved it and we loved all the support from back home with friends and family. It’s just really special what Zoi has done here, and to see everyone react the way they have been doing is just something else.”

The victory comes just a few weeks after the 20-year-old won two gold medals at X-Games in Aspen, Colorado, and she will go for Olympic gold again in the Big Air event, which starts on Monday Feb 14.

Two periods gone, 4-1 Canada.

And as soon as I type that, the Russians score! They finally get a breakaway from the siege at their goal, stream down the ice, and their captain Anna Shokhina puts a flick past the tender from the left side of goal. It’s 4-1.

Canada really monstering the Russian women in the hockey. In the whole time I’ve been watching the Russians haven’t got near goal. They’re spending the whole game in their defensive third, slapping the puck up the ice without much plan. Three minutes left in the middle third.

We’re on to the second run in the Big Air. Everyone gets three goes and then takes their best two scores. Birk Ruud from Norway was top in the first round. When you invert his name on the leaderboard is looks like Rude Berk. Unflattering. Can ski though.

Canada up 4-0 now in that hockey game, the Russian coaches looking very stern.

Gold for Switzerland in the downhill skiiing

In the men’s downhill, it is the Swiss skier Beat Feuz who wins in a time of 1:42:69. He won bronze in this event in 2018, and silver in the Super G. Completes his set this time around.

And quite the story for second place: the 41-year-old Frenchman Johan Clarey, having qualified for three previous Olympics but having never finished higher than 18th, wins a silver medal in his fourth Games.

Previous winner Matthias Meyer takes bronze for Austria.

Beat Feuz of Team Switzerland.
Beat Feuz of Team Switzerland. Photograph: Sean M Haffey/Getty Images

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Canada go up 3-0 over the Russian team in the women’s ice hockey, after a frenetic period of attack.

On the Big Air, this skiing commentator’s favourite thing to say is “tweaking out the grab”. I don’t know what it means to tweak out a grab, but every competitor has tweaked out the grab at least once per jump. I wonder if he drops tweaking out the grab into conversation in his normal life? Ordering pizza, jumping in a taxi. “So just tweak out the grab and then take that next left.”

Here’s a line from the US figure skating team. For context, Zhou is the only skater to have beaten the juggernaut that is Nathan Chen in the last four years.

“As part of yesterday’s regular COVID-19 screening, Vincent Zhou tested positive. Under the guidance of the USOPC medical staff, Zhou is undergoing additional testing to confirm his status. If the results are negative, Zhou will be able to compete in the men’s short program, which begins Tuesday. At this time, we ask you respect his privacy as we await the results.”

Here’s that piece about Peng Shuai.

Leonardo Donaggio, a young skier from Italy, has just nailed a 90+ score to go to second place in qualifying with five full spins and a decent landing. But Henrik Harlaut of Sweden goes one better with the next jump. Three qualifiers above 90 so far.

Since I don’t know all that much about winter sports, I’m going to describe them like someone who doesn’t know much about winter sports. Freeski Big Air? Does what it says on the tin. Some guys are coming down to a huge ramp and then spinning a lot. I would argue though that the conventional aerials comp, where they use that ramp that ends up as a vertical, gets bigger air. This is a flatter ramp, and the spins are mostly lateral corkscrew style rather than adding flips into the equation.

Now… the first dude as I switched over just went down the ramp backwards. Matej Svancer, Austrian. That seems bold. Wait, now some other guys are landing backwards. Is this a thing now? Backwards skiing just for extra flair? Sure, why not.

The snowboard slopestyle is quite the spectacle. If you liked the street skate event in Tokyo then this is the same idea but on ice. A long downhill run littered with jumps, rails, ramps, and even a snowy Chinese pagoda with a roof that competitors can get on top of and go flying off. Flips, spins, all the good stuff.

The Canadians go gold and bronze, China silver. Mark McMorris has won two bronzes in this event already, and he scorches his last run in an effort to knock off his countryman Max Parrot from the top spot. But needs a couple more points. Settles for his third bronze, Parrot gold, Su Yiming silver.

There’s also a women’s prelim round ice hockey match going on: Canada leading I Can’t Believe It’s Not Russia 2-0.

In the women’s Big Air qualifiers, Canada’s Megan Oldham finished top. For Great Britain, Kirsty Muir qualified but Katie Summerhayes missed out by one spot.

On-course news from the day so far: American favourite Mikaela Shiffrin crashed out of the giant slalom qualifying, missing her first shot in a program that was aiming for five gold medals. Alex Tilley for Great Britain is in the mix. That second run is due later today, not sure on time yet as strong winds yesterday meant another event has to be squeezed into today.

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In other news related to China, sport, and the application of state power – our reporter Helen Davidson in Taipei is working on a story about Peng Shuai, the tennis player who has had the close attention of the Chinese government ever since accusing a prominent politician of assaulting her.

Preamble

Hello, frost fans. Welcome to Narnia as the white witch would have envisaged it, all crystalline ice structures and chilly diplomatic relations. The Beijing Winter Olympics.

Not much action today for the Australians or the Brits, but plenty happening on the snow nonetheless. All times below will be UK time, which is currently GMT. Add eight hours for Beijing, add 11 hours for Sydney. Subtract five hours for New York, or eight hours for of LA.

Curling: In the mixed doubles, Great Britain beat the USA to qualify for a semi-final against Norway, which will take place at 12.05pm.

Men’s downhill skiing: started a day late, and is happening in between the women’s giant slalom runs, the first tranche of which is over. Bryan Graham is at the venue for us.

Snowboarding: the men’s slopestyle final starts just before 4am.

Freeskiing Big Air: on its Olympic debut, the women’s qualifying run has already happened, and the men will be at 5.30am.

Speed skating: The women’s 1500 metres is at 8:30am, with American start Brittany Bowe among those in action. Ireen Wust of Netherlands will go for a fifth solo gold in five games, having won in either the 15000 or the 3000 in each of the past four. Ellia Smedding is there for Great Britain.

Women’s biathlon: The women’s 15 kilometre shoot-and-scoot starts from 9am.

Short track speed skating: Medals are up in the women’s 500m at 11:30am, and the men’s 1000m at 12.40pm.

Ski jumping: the mixed team final starts shortly before 1pm.

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