Kim dom­i­nates for 1st Olympic gold, Hirscher breaks through

Manteca Bulletin - - Sports -

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — It was a day for all ages at the Win­ter Olympics.

A few hours af­ter 17-yearold Chloe Kim dom­i­nated the women’s half­pipe snow­board­ing fi­nal on Tues­day, 28-yearold Mar­cel Hirscher, a six-time over­all World Cup cham­pion, won the men’s com­bined at the Pyeongchang Games.

Four years af­ter be­ing too young to make the Olympic team in Sochi de­spite hav­ing the tal­ent and scores to do so, Kim per­formed like a sea­soned vet­eran in South Korea.

Kim put up a score of 93.75 on the first of her three fi­nals runs and then topped that with a near-per­fect 98.75 on her last run — hav­ing al­ready wrapped up her first Olympic gold.

“I knew that I did put down a re­ally good first run,” Kim said, “but I was also like, ‘I can do bet­ter than that. I can one up my­self.’”

Kim’s par­ents both mi­grated to the United States from South Korea, where their daugh­ter made her Olympic de­but in a cause for cel­e­bra­tion in both coun­tries.

Liu Ji­ayu fin­ished se­cond with 89.75 to be­come the first Chi­nese snow­boarder to medal at the Olympics. Kim’s team­mate, Arielle Gold, over­came a dis­lo­cated shoul­der dur­ing train­ing to earn a bronze.

In a first for the Olympics, Cana­dian curlers Kait­lyn Lawes and John Mor­ris won gold in the de­but of mixed dou­bles with a 10-3 vic­tory over the Swiss pair of Jenny Per­ret and Martin Rios.

In a rush of night-time fin­ishes, Kjeld Nuis led a Dutch dou­ble in the men’s 1,500me­ter speed­skat­ing fi­nal, Natalie Geisen­berger suc­cess­fully de­fended her women’s luge ti­tle in a 1-2 fin­ish for Ger­many, the crosscoun­try clas­sic sprint ti­tles went to Jo­hannes Hoes­flot Klaebo of Nor­way and Stina Nils­son of Swe­den, and Ital­ian short-track speed­skater Ari­anna Fon­tana won the women’s 500 me­ters.

In Jeongseon, Hirscher’s com­bined two-run time was 0.23 sec­onds faster than sil­ver medal­ist Alexis Pin­tu­rault of France. The Aus­trian is a three-time Olympian who had pre­vi­ously won only a sil­ver medal de­spite never fin­ish­ing be­low fifth in any race.

“I’m su­per happy be­cause now this stupid ques­tion has gone away, if I’m think­ing that my ca­reer is per­fect with­out a gold medal,” Hirscher said. “Now the ques­tion is zzzzzzit — deleted.”

Hirscher isn’t done, ei­ther. He’ll be the fa­vorite in his top two events of slalom and gi­ant slalom, which will be raced in nearby Yong­py­ong.

IN THE MIX Lawes and Mor­ris were too good in the mixed dou­bles curl­ing fi­nal, with Switzer­land con­ced­ing in the sixth end of the match af­ter miss­ing an op­por­tu­nity for a take­out with its last shot of the end. That gave Canada an­other two points. See­ing no way to come back from the deficit, the Swiss ended the game.

The team from Rus­sia picked up bronze with Anas­ta­sia Bryz­galova tum­bling onto the ice but bounc­ing back with team­mate — and hus­band — Alek­sandr Krushel­nitckii for an 8-4 vic­tory over Nor­way. Bryz­galova was shuf­fling back­ward in the third end when she stum­bled over a stone and had her legs fly out from un­der her and she crashed hard onto her back­side. The spill drew gasps from the stunned crowd and left a stunned Bryz­galova em­bar­rassed for a mo­ment.

DUTCH DOU­BLE Kjeld Nuis led team­mate Pa­trick Roest in a 1-2 fin­ish in the 1,500 me­ters to give Nether­lands four wins from four fi­nals in speed­skat­ing at the Olympic Oval.

The Dutch have now won eight of 12 medals at the Pyeongchang Games, keep­ing them on the stun­ning medal pace set at the 2014 Sochi Games when they fin­ished with 23 out of 36.

CROSS-COUN­TRY Klaebo won gold in the men’s cross-coun­try sprint, with Fred­erico Pel­le­grino of Italy get­ting the bet­ter of a photo fin­ish to take sil­ver ahead of Rus­sian com­peti­tor Alexan­der Bol­shunov.

Stina Nils­son of Swe­den won the women’s crosscoun­try sprint. Maiken Caspersen of Nor­way was se­cond and Rus­sian skier Yu­lia Belorukova took bronze.

Yet again, there was no medal for the United States. Jes­sica Dig­gins placed sixth, fail­ing in her quest to be­come the first Amer­i­can woman to win an Olympic medal in cross-coun­try ski­ing. GEISEN­BERGER’S

GOLD Geisen­berger is the third woman to win con­sec­u­tive Olympic luge golds, join­ing fel­low Ger­man greats St­effi Martin Wal­ter and Sylke Otto.

She beat Ger­man team­mate Da­jana Eit­berger and Alex Gough, who took bronze to give Canada its first Olympic luge medal.

Erin Ham­lin of the United States was sixth and Emily Sweeney crashed out mid­way through her fi­nal run.

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