Sunday, October 2, 2022

Olympics Live: Russian men win cross-country ski relay

BEIJING — ( Associated Press) — The Latest on the Beijing Winter Olympics:

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Just like in the women’s cross-country ski race, the Russian team opened a lead on the first leg of the men’s relay on Sunday and then held on for the Olympic gold medal.

Sergey Ustiugov maintained more than a minute lead on the last lap over the two-man chasing group of Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo of Norway and Maurice Manificat of France.

Ustiugov grabbed a flag on his way to the finish line and won the 10-kilometer relay in 1 hour, 54 minutes, 50.7 seconds. Klaebo pulled away from Manificat for the silver, 1:07.2 back. France took third, 1:16.4 behind the Russians.

Snowy conditions made the ski tracks slow, especially on the first two classic ski legs. Leaf-blowers were used to clear the snow out of the ski tracks. By contrast, the winning time in the four-man relay at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics was more than 20 minutes quicker.

Alexey Chervotkin led off for the Russians, with Alexander Bolshunov skiing the second classic leg. Denis Spitsov and Ustiugov took the two freestyle legs.

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Ukraine’s Olympic team has issued a statement calling for peace against the backdrop of a Russian military build-up on the border between the countries.

So far no other athletes have followed the lead of slider Vladyslav Heraskevych. He held up a sign with the Ukrainian flag and the message “No War in Ukraine” after finishing a run in the skeleton competition.

The Ukrainian team issued a statement on Saturday night Beijing time expanding on his gesture.

“The Olympic Team of Ukraine that is competing at the XXIV Olympic Winter Games in Beijing unanimously calls for peace together with the native country,” the Ukrainian Olympic Committee wrote on social media.

“Being thousands of kilometers away from the Motherland, mentally we are with our families and friends.” The statement doesn’t mention Russia or the military situation.

The International Olympic Committee bans most protest gestures at the Games. It isn’t taking action against Heraskevych because “’No war’ is a message we can all relate to,” executive director of the Olympic Games Christophe Dubi said Sunday.

But IOC events Mark Adams says that doesn’t mean the IOC wants other athletes to join in.

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Marco Odermatt of Switzerland has won gold in the men’s giant slalom at the Beijing Olympics.

The 24-year-old Swiss skier plowed through snow and poor visibility Sunday to win.

It was the first time snow fell during an Alpine skiing race at this year’s Olympics and the bad weather conditions caused the second run to be postponed by 1 hour, 15 minutes.

Odermatt coped with the conditions and the delay — and a first-run mistake — to post an unofficial combined time of 2 minutes, 09.35 seconds.

Zan Kranjec of Slovenia took silver, 0.19 seconds behind, and world champion Mathieu Faivre of France earned bronze, 1.34 behind.

The skiers had been racing and training on artificial snow until the real thing started to fall on Saturday at the Yanqing Alpine Skiing Center. A second women’s downhill training run was canceled because of the conditions on Sunday.

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Slalom gold medalist Petra Vlhova is leaving the Beijing Olympics early due to an inflamed left ankle tendon. She’ll miss the Alpine combined event in which she would have been a challenger to Mikaela Shiffrin, the favorite in the race.

Mauro Pini, Vlhova’s coach, tells The Associated Press that they didn’t want to risk making things worse by trying for a medal in the combined.

By winning the slalom four days ago, Vlhova became Slovakia’s first Olympic medalist in Alpine skiing.

Pini added that Vlhova also wants to make sure she has time “to go home and share this medal with those closest to her.”

Vlhova had already sat out the super-G and the opening downhill training session.

The Alpine combined is scheduled for Thursday. Vlhova finished second behind Shiffrin in the combined at last season’s world championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

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The second run of the men’s giant slalom has been postponed amid heavy snowfall and low visibility at the Yanqing Alpine Skiing Center.

Marco Odermatt of Switzerland has a lead of 0.04 seconds over Stefan Brennsteiner of Austria and 0.08 over world champion Mathieu Faivre of France after the first run.

It is the first time snow has fallen during an Alpine skiing race at the Beijing Olympics.

Snow has been falling since Saturday at the Yanqing Alpine Skiing Center, where athletes had been racing and training on artificial snow. A second women’s downhill training run scheduled for Sunday was canceled.

The skiers say it is tough to see but good enough to race in.

Fourth-placed Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway says “the light is more than skiable” but adds “it just makes it difficult.”

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The women’s Olympic skiing slopestyle qualifying event has been moved to Monday with the final the following day.

The competition was postponed Sunday due to wind, snow and low visibility.

The men’s slopestyle qualification has switched from Monday to Tuesday. The final will now be Wednesday.

Eileen Gu, who lives in the United States and represents China, will be going for a second gold medal. She won big air last Tuesday.

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Kaillie Humphries has a big lead in the first part of the monobob competition at the Beijing Olympics.

Humphries is competing for the first time as an American citizen. It’s also the first time monobob, a one-woman bobsled, has been an Olympic event.

The reigning world monobob champion finished two runs Sunday in 2 minutes, 9.10 seconds, giving her a massive lead of 1.04 seconds over second-place Christine de Bruin of Canada. De Bruin’s time was 2:10.14.

Laura Nolte of Germany was third in 2:10.32, and three-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor of the US is right in the medal hunt — her time of 2:10.42 putting her fourth.

Barring a big mistake by somebody, it looks like four women remain in the mix for the three medals. They’ll be decided on Monday morning in Beijing, late Sunday night in the United States. The gap between Meyers Taylor and fifth-place Huai Mingming of China is nearly a half-second.

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Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva remains on the preliminary start list for the short program at the Olympic Games, drawing a spot in the final group among 30 figure skaters due on the ice Tuesday night at Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing.

Valieva will start 26th if the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which is meeting later Sunday, allows her to perform. Valieva’s status was thrown into question this past week following a flagged drug test taken in December. She’s favored to win if she’s allowed to compete.

The starting order for the short program is determined by splitting the field in half according to world rankings. The lowest-ranked skaters then draw for the first 15 starting positions and the highest-ranked skaters draw for the second 15, meaning those who have legitimate medal chances will be last to take the ice.

Young You of Korea will follow Valieva before her two Russian teammates, Alexandra Trusova and world champion Anna Shcherbakova. Kaori Sakamota of Japan drew the final starting number.

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Marco Odermatt of Switzerland is leading the first run of the Olympic men’s giant slalom with only lower-ranked skiers remaining.

It’s the first time snow has fallen on an Alpine ski race at the Beijing Games and visibility has been an issue for skiers.

Stefan Brennsteiner of Austria is 0.04 seconds behind in second and world champion Mathieu Faivre of France is 0.08 behind in third.

The 24-year-old Odermatt is a favorite for the victory, having won four of the five giant slalom races this season in the World Cup. It would be his first gold medal in his first Olympics.

Snow has been falling since Saturday at the Yanqing Alpine Skiing Center, where athletes have been racing and training on artificial snow until now. A second women’s downhill training run scheduled for Sunday has been canceled.

Italian Luca de Aliprandini said “you can’t see anything” after his first run.

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The Olympic skiing slopestyle qualifying event at the Beijing Olympics has been postponed due to high wind, snow and low visibility.

With the flags of different countries whipping in the wind at Genting Snow Park, the organizers made the decision to postpone the qualifying round. They did not immediately announce a plan for rescheduling. The final is currently set for Monday.

Eileen Gu, who lives in the United States and represents China, will be going for a second gold medal. She won big air last Tuesday.

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Standout Eileen Gu and the rest of the slopestyle skiers at the Beijing Olympics will have to wait a little bit longer to start qualifying with the competition delayed by weather.

The wind was blowing and the snow falling at Genting Snow Park. The diminishing visibility made performing tricks off the jumps difficult as well. The competition is delayed at least two hours.

Gu, who was born in the US and is competing for China, is trying to win her second gold medal at the Beijing Games. She’s already won big air, which was held in Beijing.

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The second women’s downhill training run for American Mikaela Shiffrin, Italian Sofia Goggia and other Alpine skiers has been canceled because of snowfall.

The men’s giant slalom race is still supposed to take place Sunday Beijing time.

A downhill has faster speeds than the giant slalom and so is more dangerous to ski when visibility is poor

Snow began falling Saturday at the Yanqing Alpine Skiing Center during the first women’s downhill practice session and continued into Sunday morning.

There is another downhill training scheduled for Monday ahead of Tuesday’s race.

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Russian figure skating superstar Kamila Valieva was at a practice session Sunday, hours before the Court of Arbitration for Sport was scheduled to meet to decide whether she’ll be allowed to compete.

The meeting of CAS is scheduled for 8:30 pm Sunday and a decision is expected sometime Monday, less than 24 hours before Valieva is scheduled to skate in the women’s short program at the Beijing Games.

Valieva has been allowed to practice since Monday, when a drug test she took in December was flagged for traces of a banned heart medication. That was the same day Valieva helped Russia win the team gold medal with a dynamic free skate in which she became the first woman to land a quad lutz in Olympic competition.

The practices have become increasingly uncomfortable, though, as Valieva continues to prepare with dozens of reporters and camera crews watching her every move. She briefly broke down in tears during her Friday session.

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More Associated Press Winter Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/winter-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Deskhttps://nationworldnews.com
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