Pyeongchang 2018

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PyeongChang 2018: Hanyu’s dominance, Super-G, and more to watch on Saturday

What happened on Friday: Matthias Mayer of Austria overcame a rough crash in the men’s Downhill on Thursday to win the Super-G on Friday, beating Beat Feuz of Switzerland by 0.13 seconds and Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud by 0.18 seconds. Jansrud’s bronze was his second medal in as many days after his silver in the Downhill.

Frida Hansdotter took gold in the women’s Slalom for Sweden, with Wendy Holdener of Switzerland second and Katharina Gallhuber of Austria taking bronze. Mikaela Shiffrin missed out on a medal in her favourite event, finishing fourth after throwing up before the start.

A raucous day seven crowd cheered on South Korea’s Yun Sung-bin as he slid his way to a gold medal in men’s Skeleton, beating Russia’s Nikita Tregubov by over a half second.

Belarus claimed its second gold medal in successive Olympics in the ladies’ Aerials Freestyle Skiing, although this time it was 25-year-old Hanna Huskova claiming the best score of the competition with a 96.14. Defending gold medallist Alla Tsuper placed fourth, as China’s Zhang Xin and Kong Fanyu medalled with respective silver and bronze performances.

Another day, another Dutch gold medal in speed skating. Friday’s win went to the Netherlands’ Esmee Visser in the ladies’ 5000 Meters. The 22-year-old beat the two-time champion Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic by just over a second.

Italy’s Michela Moioli won a crowded Snowcross final, winning gold in a photo finish over 16-year-old Julia Pereira de Sousa Mabileau of France and Eva Samkova of the Czech Republic. American silver medallist Lindsey Jacobellis, whose blunder in Turin in 2006 cost her a gold medal, led early in the race but couldn’t sustain the pace all the way down the course.

Switzerland’s Dario Cologna won the fourth gold medal of his Olympic cross-country skiing career, conquering the men’s 15km individual by a comfortable 18.3 second margin.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH ON SATURDAY 17TH FEBRUARY 2018:

1. Hanyu goes for back-to-back gold: Gold medal favourite and defending Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan leads the men’s singles competition following Friday’s Short Program after putting up the second-highest figure skating score (111.68) ever, resulting in fans throwing hundreds of stuffed Winnie the Pooh bears onto the ice in celebration of his performance. Spain’s Javier Fernandez and Hanyu’s Japanese teammate Shoma Uno currently trail, but the Free Skate (10:00 local time – Gangneung Ice Arena) is likely to end up being a re-coronation of the sport’s current king.

2. Men’s and ladies’ Short Track speed skating: There’s a full night of Short Track (pictured) with multiple rounds of the men’s 1000m and ladies’ 1500m. (local time 19:00 – Gangneung Ice Arena). There will likely be a big home crowd in attendance, with South Korea having excellent chances of coming away with medals in both. 18-year-old Hwang Dae-heon set a world record in the event two years ago, although his biggest competition will likely be Canada’s Charles Hamelin, who set an Olympic record just days ago in the opening heats. Hwang’s teammate, Choi Min-jeong, owns the world record in the ladies’ 1500m and is looking to rebound from a disqualification in the 500m earlier this week that cost her a silver medal.

3. Who wins the ladies’ Super-G? Mikaela Shiffrin pulled out of this event, although she may have had a difficult path to a medal in the speed-heavy competition (11:00 local time – Jeongseon Alpine Centre). Switzerland’s Lara Gut is the current leader in the World Cup standings, although a crash in the giant slalom on Thursday may have shaken her up a bit. Other names to watch include Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein and Italy’s Johanna Scharf.

4. Dahlmeier goes for third gold: German biathlete Laura Dahlmeier has already medalled in her first three races in PyeongChang, winning the women’s 7.5km sprint and women’s 10km pursuit and earning a bronze in the women’s 15km individual. She’ll close out her Olympic schedule with the women’s 12.5km mass start on Saturday (20:15 local time – Alpensia Biathlon Centre).

5. Who plays Canada and the U.S. in the semis?: Canada and the U.S. women’s hockey teams are already on to Monday’s semifinals. Who they’ll play will be determined in Saturday’s quarterfinals, with Canada awaiting the winner of OAR vs. Switzerland (12:10 local time – Kwandong Hockey Centre) and the U.S. set to play whoever escapes the Finland vs. Sweden matchup (16:40 local time).

 

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