Pyeongchang 2018

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PyeongChang 2018: Marcel Hirscher, freestyle skiing, and more to watch on Sunday

What happened on Saturday: Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu earned his second consecutive men’s Singles Figure Skating title, becoming the 1000th medal event winner in the history of the Winter Games.

Ester Ledecka was an unlikely winner in the women’s Super-G.  The 22-year-old Czech, who is most famous for competing in snowboarding, surpassed Austria’s Tina Veith by a 0.01-second margin to win gold at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre.

World record holder Choi Min-jeong won her first Olympic medal, beating China’s Li Jinyu in the women’s 1500m Short Track final in front of a home crowd in PyeongChang to claim gold for South Korea. Canada’s Samuel Girard finished first in the men’s 1000m. He only made the final after compatriot Charles Hamelin was penalised in the semis.

Switzerland’s Sarah Hoefflin put up the best score of the day in her final run of the women’s Ski Slopestyle event, posting a 91.20. Her Swiss teammate Mathilde Grimaud had held the lead for most of the competition with an 88.00 score in the first run, but had to settle for silver after Hoefflin’s impressive performance.

After winning silver in the women’s 15km Individual and 10km Pursuit, Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia claimed her first gold medal in PyeongChang with a win in the women’s 12.5km Mass Start. It’s the sixth Olympic medal of her career, as she won gold in the 7.5km Sprint in Sochi and Vancouver, where she also won silver in the 10km Pursuit.

There was Norway and Sweden… and then there was everyone else in the women’s 4x5km Cross Country Relay. Despite Charlotte Kalla opening a 29.8-second lead following the second leg, Norwegian superstar Marit Bjoergen outraced Sweden’s Stina Nilsson on leg four to give Norway a final time of 51:24.3 and gold, just two seconds ahead of Sweden. The Olympic Athletes from Russia won bronze.

Great Britain’s Lizzy Yarnold won her second consecutive gold medal in the Skeleton, setting a track record of 51.46.

And Kamil Stoch defended his Large Hill crown in ski jumping to become Poland’s most successful Winter Olympic athlete.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH ON SUNDAY 18TH FEBRUARY 2018

1. Marcel Hirscher’s shot at another gold: The Austrian has been the best men’s skier in the world for a while now, winning the men’s overall world cup title the past six seasons. Yet until his first-place finish in the Combined earlier this week, he had never won an Olympic gold medal. Now that he’s finally erased that stigma, can he start filling his collection with other hardware?  He’ll get his next chance in the men’s Giant Slalom (10:15 local time – Yongpyong Alpine Centre).

2. Sweden go for a third straight gold in the men’s 4x10km: The Swedes have dominated the men’s relay in the past two Olympics, winning gold in Sochi and Vancouver. But don’t overlook the Norwegian team, who fired their chief technician after a disappointing finish out of the medals in Sochi and have been training with this race in mind for the past four years. (15:15 local time – Alpensia Cross Country Centre).

3. Is this the year Martin Fourcade gets gold in the 15km mass start? With Ole Einar Bjoerndalen finally putting his gun and skis down, France’s Martin Fourcade has taken over the mantle of the best male biathlete in the world. While his 20km Individual and 10km Sprint in PyeongChang weren’t fantastic, he won gold in the men’s 12.5km Pursuit and looks to get another in the 15km Mass Start (20:15 local time – Alpensia Biathlon Centre), where he has taken silver in the past two Olympics.

4. A big day of men’s freestyle skiing: There will be finals in two events on Sunday, with Slopestyle taking up a big portion of the day (10:00 local time – Phoenix Park) and Aerials occupying the evening (20:00 local time – Phoenix Park). 2014 silver and bronze medallists Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper both return for the U.S. in Slopestyle, while Sochi gold medalist Joss Christensen didn’t make the Olympic team for PyeongChang. OAR’s Maxim Burov looks to be a favourite to medal in Aerials, as the 19-year-old current World Cup standings leader has won two events so far this season.

5. Can the Dutch keep winning?: The Netherlands have dominated speed skating on the long track so far during these Games and certainly have a chance to continue in the ladies’ 500m (20:56 local time – Gangneung Oval). Jorien ter Mors won gold in the 1000m earlier this week, but she’ll have to face local favourite and world record holder Lee Sang-hwa of South Korea, who is the defending Olympic champion in this event.

 

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