In a day dominated by excitement at the Phoenix Snow Park, short track was the unmissable event of the evening.
Photo Finish Sees Italy Beat Korea
Italian Arianna Fontana edged out home favourite Choi Minjeong in a dramatic photo finish in the women’s short track 500m final at the Gangneung ice arena on Day 4 at PyeongChang 2018.
The two finalists were separated only by a photo finish, but Minjeong was later penalised and disqualified, which meant that Netherlands competitor Yara van Kerkhof was awarded silver. Canada’s Kim Boutin, the world’s fourth best at this distance, won bronze.
Fontana, who won bronze at Vancouver 2010 and silver in Sochi 2014, and who was Italy’s flag bearer this time around, had lead the race from the start. She managed to fend off several attempts from her competitors to overtake her and finish with a time of 42.569 seconds, ahead of Van Kerkhof’s time of 43.256.
World record holder Elise Christie (GBR) fell, just as she had done in Sochi 2014, and finished fourth. Minjeong had beaten Fontana to win the first semi-final, and set a new Olympic record of 42.422, but could not repeat the feat in the final.
Hirscher adds Gold to Silver after Conquering Alpine Combined
Austrian slalom specialist Marcel Hirscher turned in the fastest run during the second leg of the men’s alpine combined event at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre on Day 4 at PyeongChang 2018.
The experienced Hirscher overtook a quality field and in doing so, he finally collected a much-desired gold medal to go with the silver he won at Sochi 2014.
The Alpine combined event calls on skiers to perform a fast-downhill run, followed by a more technical slalom, and is a test of all-round Alpine mastery.
At the completion of the downhill leg, Hirscher was handily placed in 12th, just 1.32 seconds adrift of the quickest time set by Germany’s Thomas Dressen.
With a combined time of 2 minutes 6.52 seconds, Hirscher eventually finished 0.23 seconds quicker than France’s Alexis Pinturault, and 1.02 seconds ahead of third-placed and fellow Frenchman Victor Muffat-Jeandet, the early leader in the second stanza.
Kim Lives up to the Hype in World Class Halfpipe Display
Chloe Kim rose above her halfpipe competitors to win the women’s snowboard halfpipe gold at Pyeongchang’s Phoenix Snow Park on Tuesday, the American teenager finishing clear of China’s Liu Jiayu and compatriot Arielle Gold.
The 17-year-old Kim produced a top score of 98.25 points on her third and final run to beat Liu by almost 10 points in front of the largest crowd seen at the venue so far to live up to her billing as a heavy favorite for the gold.
Liu was the only woman who seemed capable of challenging Kim and will be delighted to earn her first Olympic medal at the third time of asking, as she also denied the United States a chance of sweeping the podium.
The Chinese, ranked second in the world, laid down a good first run to score 85.50 but Kim responded immediately and sent a comprehensive message to the rest of the field with an opening 93.75 effort that she made look easy.
3 x 1080s Help White Top Table
Shaun White put down an early marker in the men’s halfpipe qualification on Day 4. A table-topping opening score of 93.25 was the American’s reward for a slick round, leaving spectators wondering what magic White was keeping in the bag for the finals.
Sochi 2014 was disappointing for White who failed to make it three Olympic men’s halfpipe gold medals in a row. His Day 4 display in PyeongChang is perhaps an indication that he is ready to progress from his Russian regrets, however he faces stiff competition with many of his fellow qualified athletes featuring in numerous ones-to-watch lists in the international press.
Klaebo Conquers Men’s Olympic Sprint
Johannes Hoesfolt Klaebo powered to a stunning victory in the men's Olympic sprint classic on Tuesday to claim another cross-country gold medal for Norway with a dominant performance in the final.
In a thrilling finish, Italian Federico Pellegrino won the silver medal by two hundredths of a second from Alexander Bolshunov, representing the Olympic athletes of Russia, who took bronze.
After a disappointing 10th place finish in the men's skiathlon, 21-year-old Klaebo was in the mood for revenge as he lined up for the qualifiers.
He made his way methodically through the quarter and semi-finals before exploding into life halfway through the final, which pitted the remaining six skiers against each other.
Having sat behind Bolshunov for much of the early part of the race, Klaebo suddenly switched lanes and powered off up the hill, leaving the rest of the field struggling in his wake.
Bolshunov fought to hold his position but Pellegrino dug deep to mount a challenge, edging in front on the final straight.
The two men thundered towards the finish line, both lunging to cross first, and after a photo finish the Italian was declared the silver medalist.