Olympics Live: Feuz on course for men’s downhill gold
BEIJING – The latest news on the Beijing Winter Olympics:
Beat Feuz of Switzerland sits first in the men’s Olympic downhill and is on course to claim gold with only lower-ranked skiers.
Johan Clarey, 41, of France was 0.10 seconds in second and two-time Olympic champion Matthias Mayer of Austria was 0.16 seconds in third.
A win would give Feuz the one thing missing from a career filled with accomplishments. He won a silver medal in the super-G and a bronze medal in the downhill at the 2018 Olympics and is the four-time defending World Cup downhill champion.
The 5-foot-8 (1.72-meter) Feuz is second in the downhill standings this season.
The players of Canada and the Russian team wear masks as they return to the ice for their women’s hockey preliminary round match at the Beijing Olympics.
The start of the game was delayed an hour after the Canadians stayed in their locker room rather than going out for the face-off. The Russian team eventually returned to their locker room before both teams returned to the ice approximately 50 minutes after the scheduled start of the match.
The reason for the delay is unclear, although it was the first game in the Beijing Olympics hockey tournament in which players were required to wear face masks.
Eileen Gu’s goal of three Olympic medals was nearly blown away.
The American-born freestyle skier who fended off the US team for China ahead of the Beijing Games risked missing the women’s big air final when she lost a ski on her second run and crashed in do-or-die position at the start of the third inning.
Gu scaled back his plans in the last round and landed a conservative right side 900.
Gu said the wind changed direction between his first and second run. Because she was the fifth of 25 skiers to descend the jump at Big Air Shougang, she didn’t notice the change until she was airborne.
She rallied for a clear third run and finished fifth, easily in the 12-skier final.
Canadian Megan Oldham narrowly edged out Frenchwoman Tess Ledeux for first place after Ledeux beat Oldham for gold at last month’s X Games.
The start of a preliminary round women’s hockey game between Canada and the Russian team at the Beijing Games has been delayed by at least an hour. Officials did not say why.
The match at Wukesong Sports Center was originally scheduled for 12:10 p.m. Beijing time. It won’t start until at least an hour later. The game was initially delayed when the Canadian team remained in their locker room after participating in the pre-game warm-up.
This left the Russian team sitting on their bench for around 20 minutes before the players took to the ice to stay fresh.
The Russian team finally came off the bench and returned to their locker room.
American figure skater Vincent Zhou tested positive as part of regular screening for COVID-19 at the Beijing Olympics, a day after struggling with poor free skating for eventual team silver medalists.
Zhou is undergoing additional tests on Monday to confirm his status. If the results are negative, he will be allowed to participate in the individual competition, which begins on Tuesday with the men’s short program.
The high-flying but extremely inconsistent 21-year-old Zhou arrived in Beijing with high hopes of fighting for a medal. He finished sixth in the men’s program at the Pyeongchang Games, but his second place finish at the NHK Trophy and victory at Skate American on his two Grand Prix assignments gave him hope of a medal.
There will be at least one among the team silver medalists. He will wait for another COVID-19 test to see if he can win another one.
Kamila Valieva became the first woman to land a quad at the Olympics – two of them, in fact – and her historic free skate marked Russia’s dominant run to gold in the figure skating event team at the Beijing Games on Monday.
The 15-year-old Valieva started with a huge quad salchow and followed with the difficult triple axel before landing another quad, this time a toe loop in combination with a triple toe loop. The only flaw in her program came when she fell on her quadruple toe loop at the end of the program, but by then her first gold medal in Beijing was assured.
Valieva scored 178.92 points, giving Russia 74 points and their second gold medal in three editions of the team event. The United States won the silver medal after two consecutive bronze medals, while Japan won its first team medal with bronze.
German skier Dominik Schwaiger was taken down a toboggan after falling during the men’s downhill at the Beijing Olympics.
He was the second runner and his fall caused a delay in the race.
Schwaiger lost control and fell on his back, then raced down the mountain and grazed the safety nets. He was clutching his left arm in apparent pain once he stopped.
The race was postponed from Sunday due to high winds.
The USA ice dance team of Madison Chock and Evan Bates delivered a career-best free skate in the team competition at the Beijing Games, nearly securing Team USA their first silver medal in this test.
Russia continues to lead the Americans by a wide margin in only the women’s free skating, but Chock and Bates were able to edge their world champions, Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov, with a score of 129.07 points.
The Russian pair were next at 128.17 while Japan, who tied with the Americans after pair competition, were last among the five ice dance teams. That left the Americans six points behind Russia with 58 but, more importantly, four ahead of the Japanese team entering the final discipline.
Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai met with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach in Beijing.
The IOC said the meeting took place over dinner on Saturday and IOC member Kirsty Coventry was also present. Coventry and Peng attended the mixed China-Norway curling match that evening.
Peng briefly disappeared from public view in November after accusing a Chinese official of sexual assault on his verified Weibo social network. The post was quickly removed.
Peng told a French newspaper in an interview published on Monday that international concern over his well-being was based on “a huge misunderstanding”. She denied accusing the Chinese official of sexual assault.
L’Equipe, which specializes in sports news, published the interview on Monday. The publication said it spoke to the tennis player a day earlier at a hotel in Beijing during an hour-long interview hosted by the Chinese Olympic committee.
The newspaper said it had to submit questions in advance, and a Chinese Olympic committee official participated in the discussion and translated his comments from Chinese.
The Russians cemented their hold on the gold medal in team figure skating, despite an unexpected fall from their pair Anastasia Mishina and Aleksander Galliamov, with two disciplines remaining at Capital Indoor Arena.
Mishina and Galliamov’s score of 145.20 gave their team the maximum 10 points, while a disappointing program from the American duo Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier left a tie for the silver medal.
Knierim did a single toe loop instead of the intended double on their opening combination, then landed his hand on a triple salchow and came out on their triple flip throw. It was enough to give the Americans just six points, while Japan got a solid program from Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara to tie with the American team in second place.
Later on Monday there will be the free dance, followed by the final women’s free skate.
Mike Tirico, host of the NBC primetime Olympics, will have a shorter stay in Beijing than originally planned.
Tirico’s last concert from Beijing will be on Monday evening. He will fly from China to NBC Sports headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, to host Wednesday and Thursday before heading to Los Angeles on Friday to anchor Olympics and Super Bowl coverage through Sunday.
Tirico will then return to Stamford for the final week of Olympics coverage. The Games end on February 20.
Maria Taylor, who signed with NBC on the eve of the Tokyo Olympics last July, will host Tuesday night’s show while Tirico returns.
Tirico was originally scheduled to stay in Beijing until Thursday before heading to Los Angeles. NBC officials, however, reiterated that Tirico’s schedule was subject to change depending on COVID-19 and other factors.
NBC said in January it would not send its advertisers and most hosts to the Beijing Olympics due to ongoing concerns about rising COVID-19 cases around the world and China’s strict policy. for those who test positive.
Defending Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin missed a gate early in the first run of the giant slalom at the Beijing Games on Monday and was disqualified from the event.
While rounding a left turn gate, she lost control, slipped and fell to the side.
Shiffrin, 26, is trying to become the first alpine ski racer from the United States to win three Olympic gold medals in his career.
She arrived in China as one of the most watched athletes in any sport at the Winter Olympics, a superstar who has dominated ski racing for long stretches in recent years. She said she hoped to compete in the five individual events at the Yanqing Alpine Skiing Center.
His next race is Wednesday’s slalom. Shiffrin won it aged 18 at the 2014 Sochi Games.
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