There was a photo finish in the Biathlon, while Norway won the Men’s Cross-Country Relay and Slopestyle to overtake Germany at the top of the medal table.
Norway were the big winners on Day 9 as they made significant additions to their medal haul. The first went to Oystein Braaten in the Men’s Slopestyle. A brilliant first run score of 95.00 laid down an early marker and none of Braaten’s rivals were able to get close. US athlete Nick Goepper improved on his bronze from Sochi four years ago with a silver medal and Canada’s Alex Beaulieu-Marchand claimed a surprise third place.
A short while later, the Men’s Cross-Country 4x10km Relay team secured Norway’s ninth gold of the Games, taking them above Germany in the medal table. The Norwegians have now scooped five of the eight available Cross-Country golds and look fairly unstoppable.
As does Marcel Hirscher, who claimed his second Alpine ski gold in as many races by winning the Men’s Giant Slalom. The Austrian is in a league of his own at the moment and the 1.27-second gap he posted to Henrik Kristofferson in the silver position was the biggest winning margin since 1968.
Japanese speed skater Nao Kodaira set a new Olympic record of 36.94 seconds to take gold in the 500m sprint. Home favorite and world record holder Sang-Hwa Lee made a crucial mistake in the final curve and ended up with silver.
In the Men’s Aerials, final round leader Oleksander Abramenko of Ukraine was made to wait for an age for confirmation after a superb back full-full-double-full and perfect landing by China’s Jia, who took silver. The freestyle event could hardly have been closer: Abramenko ended up on 128.51 points to Jia’s 128.05.
But for drama, nothing could beat the Men’s Biathlon 15km Mass Start. France’s Martin Fourcade just edged gold in a photo finish with Germany’s Simon Schempp. After a frantic final sprint, both men crossed the line together and there was no more than big toe in it.
We’ll be back tomorrow with more action, including the gold medal events for Day 10 (all times CET):
- Men’s 2-man Bobsleigh (14:00)
- Men’s Team Ski Jumping – Large Hill (14:36)
- Men’s 500m Speed Skating
As it happened
15.25 – Finland’s male ice hockey team has triumphed 3-1 over Sweden in their group C preliminary fixture, while Canada secured a 4-0 victory over South Korea. And that, as they say, is that for another day.
15.03 – Two man bobsleigh news, now: Germany are in pole position after heat two, with two teams in the gold and silver medal spots. It’s still all to play for, however, with heat three to come on Monday and one more after that.
15:00 – Team GB defeat Italy by the finest of margins in a nail-biting curling showdown. 7-6 to the Brits after eleven ends.
14:19 – In the Bobsleigh, Germany’s Nico Walther, with co-pilot Christian Poser, will go into Monday’s heat 3 in pole position. The pair finsihed the second heat ahead of Canada’s Justin Kripps and Alex Kopacz.
13:39 – Phew…three medals in the space of 30 minutes. And that means all the honors have been handed out today. Preliminary rounds are still going on in curling, ice hockey and bobsleigh, but here’s the recap of the golds awarded on Day 9.
- Japan: Women’s 500m Speed Skating
- Ukraine: Men’s Aerial
- France: Men’s Biathlon 15km Mass Start
- Norway: Men’s Cross-Country 4x10km Relay
- Austria: Men’s Giant Slalom
- Norway: Men’s Slopestyle Ski
13:32 – GOLD FOR JAPAN! Nao Kodaira is the new Olympic champion and record holder in the Women’s 500m speed skating! Lee Sang-Hwa took silver and Karolina Erbanova of the Czech Republic has bronze.
13:31 – Final pairing, Austria’s Herzog and Golikova of OAR … Herzog finishes fourth which means…
13:30 – It looked as though Lee was on course for gold, but a slight mistake in the final curve cost her top spot. She’s now in the silver place, 0.39 seconds behind Kodaira.
13:29 – The crowd raises the roof now as home favorite and world record holder Sang-Hwa Lee takes to the ice.
13:27 – New Olympic record! Nao Kodaira of Japan has taken pole position in a time of 36.94.
13:21 – Over to the speed skating for the final medal event of the day. Brittany Bowe of the US is just in front with only 6 skaters to go
13:10 – GOLD FOR UKRAINE! Abramenko was made to wait for an age for confirmation after a superb back full-full-double-full and perfect landing by Jia, who takes silver. Burov has bronze for OAR. That could hardly have been closer: Abramenko ended up on 128.51 points to Jia’s 128.05.
13:04 – No time to lose, and over to the Men’s Aerials we go. With one jumper left to go (China’s Jia), Ukraine’s Oleksander Abramenko is on for gold ahead of two OAR colleagues. There is a long and nervous wait for the wind to die down…
13:02 – Fourcade lost in a photo finish in the Sochi Games in 2014 and his reaction crossing the line suggested he felt history had repeated itself. But he did it and is the first French Winter Olympian with four golds to his name.
12:51 – AND IT’S GOLD FOR FRANCE Fourcade has nicked it to secure his second Olympic gold. There was less than a toenail in it. Silver for Germany’s Simon Schempp and bronze goes to the defending champion, Norway’s Emil Svendsen. Amazing finish to a breathtaking race.
12:51 – PHOTO FINISH! Fourcade and Schempp cross the line together..
12:46 – Fourcade and Schempp are going to take gold and silver. The question is, who will get what? We’re on for a thrilling final sprint. There’s a three-way race for bronze between Lesser, Doll and Svendsen of Norway.
12:43 – Incredible! All three have to go into a penalty lap. The gap is still formidable, but this could make it interesting. Benedikt Doll is back in the race and up to third.
12:36 – Dramatic scenes in the shooting gallery! Schempp and Lesser hit all five targets but Frenchman Martin Fourcade is quicker off the mark and heads back onto the track in front. The trio are now setting a blistering pace out alone up front. If they can steer clear of mistakes in the final shoot, they will all be on for a medal.
12:33 – At the halfway stage, Lesser and Doll are working as a team in the front two and have been joined by Simon Schempp. Are we on course for a German 1-2-3?
12:31 – A very successful shoot for the Germans. Doll still leads, followed by Erik LEsser and Simon Schempp. Three Germans in the top five as Boe (Norway) and Samuelsson (Sweden) both miss the target once.
12:27 – Germany’s Benedikt Doll is in the lead at the 5.5km mark, part of a group of eight. By the time they reach the shooting gallery though, everyone has caught up.
12:22 – The biathletes are entering the shooting gallery all at the same time. The next few minutes will decide who gets the first advantage. And to the delight of the home crowd, South Korea’s Lapshin is the quickest and makes no mistake! plenty of favorites are consigned to a penalty lap.
12:20 – Over in the first round of the Men’s Aerials, OAR freestyler Krotov has a slight advantage over Abramenko of Ukraine and Canada’s Rochon. The final, decisive round is about 30 minutes away.
12:14 – But more pressingly, we head over to the Men’s Biathlon Mass Start, which is just about to, well, start. Medals are up for grabs. Arnd Peiffer is carrying Germany’s hopes.
12:00 – The heat is on! Well, heat 1 in the Men’s 2-man Bobsleigh. First up are the Brazilians, who come close to tipping over on more than one occasion. Great Britain go next and promptly post the new track record of 49.37 seconds.
11:52 – Despite spectators being largely conspicuous by their absence in early events, organizers say ticket sales have now exceed both the one million mark and expectations…
11:24 – In the Women’s hockey, Japan have beaten Sweden 2-1 in overtime. Japan now will play Switzerland on Tuesday to determine who finishes fifth, while Sweden will play the combined Korea team for the final two spots in the eight-team tournament.
11:17 – Britain’s “unluckiest Olympian” Elise Christie could make a shock comeback in Tuesday’s 1000m speed skating qualifiers. The triple world champion was wiped out in a clash with China’s Li Jinyu in Saturday’s 1,500m semi-final, crashing into the barriers at high speed and being lifted off the ice on a stretcher. But an X-ray revealed no broken bones.
10:55 – And it’s all over in the Men’s hockey. The Czech’s keep their unbeaten run going, winning 4-1 against Switzerland to secure top spot in Group A and a direct place in the quarter-finals.
The Women’s match is headed into overtime however, still all-square between Sweden and Japan.
10:42 – Norway’s utter dominance in the Cross-Country events is having a knock-on effect for the German team. This is one of their traditional strenghts, but with over half the Games gone, Germany are still searching for their first Cross-Country medal. It has been 20 years since Germany failed to win an Olympic medal in the sport and are now pinning their hopes on Wednesday’s team sprints.
10:30 – The Czech’s have taken the lead against Switzerland in the third period.
10:06 – Over in the ice-hockey, it’s all-square between the Czech Republich and Switzerland in the Men’s Preliminary Round. 1-1 in the second period. And it’s the same score at the same stage between Sweden and Japan in the Women’s Classifications.
09:30 – So, to recap the gold medals so far today while we wait for the biathlon.
- Norway: Men’s Cross-Country 4x10km Relay
- Austria: Men’s Giant Slalom
- Norway: Men’s Slopestyle Ski
09:16 – Any other business department: Shannon Abeda, who became the first Eritrean Winter Olympian finished 61st in the Giant Slalom earlier. And in the round robin in the women’s curling, Sweden beat Great Britain 8-6, Canada triumphed 10-8 over Switzerland and South Korea thrashed China 12-5.
09:09 – Norway are quite good at this cross-country skiing aren’t they? That gold in the 4x10km relay was their fifth from a possible eight available so far in the discipline.
08:48 – GOLD FOR NORWAY! As expected in the final straight, Klaebo romps home to victory. OAR take silver and the French have bronze.
08:46 – Klaebo finally makes his move and pulls away. This is Norway’s gold and they are going to overtake Germany in the medals table!
08:43 – How quickly thngs can change! The French are now just going to have to make sure they hang on to bronze. Gold is going to OAR or Norway. But if Klaebo doesn’t manage to see this through for Norway, it will be a major shock.
08:38 – They’re just waiting to attack out in front. A bit like a training round as Norway’s Klaebo and France’s Backscheider conserve their energy for what will be a final sprint. But they’ll have to be careful, because OAR’s Spitsov has caught up with just over three kms to go.
08:25 – Norway and France are pulling away as they enter the stadium for the final change. These two are going to battle it out for gold and silver. Italy’s Salvadori was struggling and has dropped well down the pecking order. OAR still in third with Finland closing in.
08:17 – This is back on! Norway, France and Italy have caught up and we have a group of four leading the Cross-Country Relay.
08:03 – The Russian is tiring a little with the change in sight. Bolshunov passes the baton on with a 24 second lead over Italy. The French and the Norwegians are closing in as well.
07:56 – OAR athlete Alexander Bolshunov has opened up a very healthy lead at the 7km stage of the second leg. The magnificently-named Frenchman Manificat is over 40 seconds behind, neck-and-neck with Italy and Norway.
07:39 – At the first change, Kazakhstan are in front, but they did use their best skier in the first leg and can’t be expected to keep the pace. The Russians are just a second behind, but then there is a 10-second gap to Italy and France. The German team are 1:14 minutes off the pace and still behind Finland.
07:31 – 7km into the first leg and there is something of a breakaway group forming with Norway, Kazakhstan, Italy, France, Sweden and the Russians seven seconds ahead of Germany.But Andreas Katz has left the chasing pack behind and is busting a gut to rejoin the leaders.
07:16 – We’re underway in the Men’s Cross-Country Relay. Five minutes in and all still very bunched up. At this early stage no team is about to attempt anything spectacular. There is a loooong way to go.
06:51 – GOLD FOR AUSTRIA! Smooth as you like from Marcel Hirscher, who is well ahead of the pace the whole way through his run. He picks up Men’s Giant Slalom gold to go with the one he won in the Combined event earlier in the week. He finished more than a second ahead of silver medallist Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway, while Frenchman Alexis Pinturault took bronze.
06:49 – We get straight over to the Men’s Giant Slalom, where Marcel Hirscher is taking to the snow for the run that could – and probably should – secure him a second gold in Pyeongchang.
06:45 – Over in the Men’s Ice Hockey, Germany have just about squeezed past Norway.
06:39 – GOLD FOR NORWAY! Oscar Wester falls early, meaning Oystein Braaten is Olympic champion. His laid down an early marker with a spectacular 95.00 in the first run and no other skier could match it. Nick Goepper of the USA takes silver and Canada’s Alex Beaulieu-Marchand wins bronze.
06:37 – A risky run from Ragettli starts well but comes apart at the end. Last run coming up.
06:35 – Alex Beaulieu-Marchand’s last run isn’t much to shout about but he’ll win bronze if neither Andri Ragettli or Oscar Wester can beat his 92.40.
06:33 – Nick Goepper changes that! The man who won bronze in Sochi is in silver medal position in Pyeongchang after scoring 93.60. Leader Oystein Braaten then wastes his last run and there’s three to go.
06:30 – Five to go now and no-one has broken in to the top three in the third run.
06:28 – Canada’s Teal Harle comes so close to taking a medal, his score of 90 leaves him agonizingly short of bronze. Meanwhile in the Ice Hockey…
06:25 – Nope, an error-strewn run from the American means there’ll be no repeat of the USA 1-2-3 from Sochi.
06:22 – A cleaner run from Woods than those who went before but he scores one less point than last time, so will have to hope his 91.00 keeps him in bronze position. Now it’s defending champion Gus Kenworth.
06:19 – What’s going on here? Elias Ambuehl become the third man in a row to falter at the first trick and is also out of contention. Here comes Britain’s James Woods, currently in 3rd.
06:17 – Two more bite the dust, Ferdinand Dahl (Norway) and Evan McEachran (Canada) both making fatal early mistakes.
06:14 – Here we go, the final run of the Slopestyle final begins with Jonas Hunziker, who manages to complete his run and keep his footing despite losing a ski on his last landing. But he’s out of contention.
06:11 – Oscar Wester, who was so impressive in qualifying, puts in an underwhelming performance to finish the second run of the Slopestyle final. He’s back in 10th and it’s Norway’s Oystein Braaten who leads from Alex Beaulieu-Marchand of Canada and James Woods of Great Britain. One run each to go, so we’ll have our first medal of day 9 shortly.
06:02 – Bad news for Germany in the Men’s Ice Hockey…
05:51: – The Giant Slalom returns for its final run, with Marcel Hirscher the big favorite. The 30th-placed qualifier Linus Strasser, of Germany, gets things going again but it’s Tommy Ford, of the USA, who leads. That’ll likely change before too long. Remember, it’s the combined time of the two runs that counts in this one.
05:38 – They’re through one run in the Slopestyle now and Oystein Braaten has snatched the lead with 1 95.00 run. That would’ve been enough for silver at Sochi four years ago. Will it be enough this time round? Elsewhere, Germany’s men lead Norway 1-0 at half-time in the Ice Hockey.
05:30 – A lot of errors in the Slopestyle so far, as the skiers go for the difficult moves, safe in the knowledge they have another two cracks at it. McEachran is the only man to score over 60 with only the top four left.
05:23 – After much huffing and puffing, Germany have finally taken the lead in the Ice Hockey, Patrick Hager the man.
05:20 – Hunziker has a bit of a stinker, falling early but the second man, Canada’s Evan McEachran lands a triple cork 1620 to set the mark at 89.40. Judging by qualifying, that won’t be the leading score for long.
05:10 – Just a few minutes until the first of three final runs in the Men’s Ski Slopestyle. Jonas Hunziker, of Switzerland qualified in 12th so will go first, then the other skiers will go in the reverse of the order in which they qualified. Sweden’s Oscar Wester will be the final man to hit the powder.
04:55 – While all eyes will be on leader Marcel Hirscher in the second run of the Giant Slalom, there is another man worth watching. Shannon Abeda isn’t a househould name, but he is making history at Pyeongchang as the first Eritrean Winter Olympian. Abeda’s parents fled Eritrea during the 1980s before eventually settling in Canada, where Abeda was born.
Six years after representing his country at the Youth Olympics and after narrowly missing out on qualification for the Games in Sochi, the 21-year-old was all smiles after his first run and sits 67th in a field that saw 85 finishers. A special moment for the young man.
04:45 – Neither side can break the deadlock in the Germany vs. Norway clash. In the women’s draw, Switzerland lead the combined Korean team 1-0.
04:31 – Still scoreless in the Men’s Ice Hockey match between Germany and Norway, but Germany are putting some pressure on during their powerplay.
04:20 – The first run of the Giant Slalom is also done and dusted, with Marcel Hirscher still out in front. Not much of a gap for these guys though, the final run begins in just over an hour.
04:18: – Antoine Adelisse, of France, crashes out and the qualifiers are decided for the Men’s Skislope Final in about nine hours time. Eight of the 12 to have made thecut registered a score over 90.
04:00 – The first set of curling matches is over, with wins for Switzerland, USA and Norway. Germany will face Norway in the Ice Hockey in about 10 minutes, both sides are winless and a loss would mean the end of their tournament.
03:55 – But here’s a shock, Wester’s compatrior – and one of the favorites for gold – Henrik Harlaut will not make the final. His second run of 75.80 already puts him down in 16th.
03:49 – Oscar Wester takes the lead in the Slopestyle after a sensational run was rewarded with 95.40. The qualification mark is now 84.20. By the look of qualifying, this is going to be a thrilling final later.
03:43 – Time for a quick check on the Germans in the Giant Slalom, Fritz Dopfer is 24th of the roughly 60 skiers who have had their turn. Linus Strasser is 30th and Alexander Schmid didn’t finish his run. Room for improvement.
03:30: – There’s been very little change where it matters of late in the big events on snow, so time to check in on the curling clashes, which are nearing – or have arrived at – their conclusion. Norway look home and hosed against Denmark – they’re 10-7 up, Switzerland vs. Denmark is delicately poised at 7-6 and the USA have just finished wiping the floor (little curling joke for you there) with Japan in a 10-2 win.
03:00: – We’re almost through the first run of the Slopestyle, with the same three men at the top (see 02:30). After this, the skiers will go again in a completely randomized order. The mark to qualify is about 70 right now.
02:55 – It seems it’s a little chilly in Pyeongchang. Which is probably for the best.
02:50 – We’re halfway through the first Slopestyle run and it’s still those three men out in front. It’s also as you were at the Giant Slalom, with Hirscher more than 0.6 seconds clear of the second fastest man. That’s quite the gap.
02:30 – Some stunning scores in the Slopestyle. James Woods’ 90.20 is now only good enough for third after sensational runs from American Nick Goepper (92.80) then Switzerland’s Andri Ragettli (95.00) raise the bar even higher. This is a high class line up.
02:25: – Reigning World Champion Marcel Hirscher, of Austria, has already picked up gold in the combined in Pyeongchang and looks in the mood for another as he flies down the Giant Slalom course to set a new time to beat of 1:08:27.
02:15 – The delayed Giant Slalom is underway. One skier down, 109 to go.
02:07 – A brilliant run from Great Britain’s James Woods sees him take the lead with a score of 90.20. It’s amazing how mundane these guys make these ridiculous feats of physicality look. Elsewhere, the Men’s Giant Slalom has been delayed, but only until 02:15.
02:03 – And we’re off in the Slopestyle where 30 skiers get two runs to set their best score. Then 12 of the 30 make it to the final. The first two skiers, McRae Williams of the USA started us off with a 81.60.
01:50: – The Men’s Ski Slopestyle is also set to begin in 10 minutes. That’ll have two qualification runs before three final runs. All you maths experts out there will have already figured out that’s a total of five runs and they come over a period of about four hours.
01:45 – As has been the case for the last few days, it’s curling that starts us off. Norway vs. Denmark, USA vs. Japan and Switzerland vs. Canada have all just got under way. The men’s Giant Slalom is the next cab off the rank, the first run starts at 02:00. But it won’t be quick, there are 110 athletes. Hope you’re ready for a late night/early morning…
01:30 – Hello again and welcome back to day 9 of our Winter Olympics coverage. Not so much in the way of medals today but plenty to keep an eye on, including the Men’s Ski Slopestyle medal race, Women’s 500m Speed Skating and Men’s Super-G.