U.S. takes silver
John-Henry Krueger picked up a silver for the U.S. in 1,000-meter short-track speedskating. It was quite the surprise being that he was rated 12th in the World Cup standings at this distance. He had to withdraw from the trials for the Sochi Games in 2014 because of contracting the swine flu, something he's obviously over. His hero is Conor McGregor, so being second-best mirrored his idol. Samuel Girard of Canada won the gold. Seo Yira of South Korea took bronze. Liu Shaolin Sandor of Hungary crashed in the turn with a lap to go, taking out Lim Hyo-jun of South Korea. Liu was penalized for impeding, but it didn't affect the order of finish because he ended up last. Krueger's medal was the first by an American in speedskating at the Pyeongchang Games.
MEN'S GIANT SLALOM
Austrian in lead
Marcel Hirscher of Austria, the world's best male Alpine skier, took a big first-run lead early today in the Olympic men's giant slalom and is well positioned for his second gold medal of the Pyeongchang Games. Hirscher, 28, was 0.63 seconds faster than Alexis Pinturault of France. They finished 1-2 in the Alpine combined on Tuesday. A Norwegian is third, but it isn't Henrik Kristoffersen, who is Hirscher's main rival in the World Cup. Leif Kristian Nestvold-Haugen has 0.66 to make up on Hirscher in the second run this afternoon. Kristoffersen was 1.31 back in 10th place. American Ted Ligety is struggling to retain his Olympic standing, trailing by 2.44 and out of the top 15. North Koreans Choe Myong Gwang and Kang Song Il are scheduled to start wearing the last two bibs, Nos. 109 and 110.
Top racers crash
Two top racers had crashing falls though the finish line in the giant slalom. Both Luca de Aliprandini of Italy and Manuel Feller of Austria lost their balance approaching the next-to-last gate and were disqualified. De Aliprandini was set for the second-fastest time behind leader Marcel Hirscher of Austria when he went across the course into safety nets. He appeared to hurt his left leg. Feller was turned around and slid backwards on his back.
Russians blank U.S.
Ilya Kovalchuk scored two back-breaking goals as the Russians outplayed, outhit and outclassed the United States in a convincing 4-0 shutout Saturday night as each team wrapped up pool play at the Olympics. With the loss, the United States now must play in the qualification round Tuesday. The Russians finished first in Group B and earned a bye into the quarterfinals on Wednesday. U.S. goaltender Ryan Zapolski allowed four goals on 26 shots, including Kovalchuk's goals less than 33 seconds apart at the end of the second period and start of the third. Los Angeles Kings 2012 draft pick Nikolai Prokhorkin scored the Russians' first two goals in a dominant performance that U.S. Coach Tony Granato and players didn't think was as lopsided as the score. "I thought we played well enough to deserve better than a 4-0 game," Granato said. "I was really happy with the effort and the confidence that we gained in knowing that we could play with them. We just didn't get the results." The U.S. rarely generated the kind of quality scoring chances against Vasily Koshechkin that the Russians did around Zapolski, who played all three preliminary-round games. Koshechkin stopped all 29 shots he faced for his first shutout of the tournament.
WOMEN'S CROSS-COUNTRY RELAY
Poor start dooms U.S.
Three of the four members of the U.S. women's cross-country relay team tried to put a cheery face on a disappointing race Saturday night. Their teammate, Sophie Caldwell, kept looking down with tears in her eyes. Her emotion told the true story. The Americans had hoped to contend for a medal in the 4 x 5-kilometer relay at the Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Centre. Instead, a poor start by Caldwell in the first leg doomed any chance at the podium and an end to their medal drought. The U.S. finished a distant fifth -- the third fifth-place finish for Jessie Diggins, who ran a strong anchor leg but had too much ground to make up. Norway held off Sweden to win gold with a time of 51 minutes, 24.3 seconds. The Americans finished 1:20.5 behind Norway and 37 seconds behind bronze-medal winner Olympic Athletes From Russia. No American woman has ever won an Olympic medal in cross-country skiing. The medal drought -- men or women -- is 42 years, dating to Bill Koch's silver in 1976. The U.S. has two more chances to win a medal: the team freestyle sprint and the 30k mass-start classic.
Britain wins gold
Skeleton joined luge as the only two sports to call it a Games for competition. Of course, that's because they have to leave the course for the bobsledders. Lizzy Yarnold of Britain was the women's gold winner and it was a shocker. She hasn't won in international competition in three years. She won by almost a half-second, which almost calls for the mercy rule if they had one in skeleton. Katie Uhlaender of the U.S. finished in 13th place.
U.S. splits games
The U.S. women split matches on Saturday, beating the team of Russian curlers, 7-6, and getting routed by Canada, 11-3. The women are pretty much out of medal contention in sixth place with a 2-3 record. The top four teams advance to the playoffs.
ODDS AND ENDS
Uniforms standing by
Russian officials have a store of uniforms ready if their team is formally reinstated for the Pyeongchang Olympics closing ceremony. Stanislav Pozdnyakov, the head of the delegation of Olympic Athletes from Russia, wouldn't say where the uniforms are being stored, but said "as regards the closing ceremony, we're ready for any development, including with extra uniforms." Russian athletes in Pyeongchang have been required to compete under the Olympic flag in neutral uniforms as punishment for Russian doping at the 2014 Games in Sochi. The International Olympic Committee said it might allow them to attend the closing ceremony in Team Russia uniforms under the Russian flag if the team keeps to its IOC-mandated status during the competitions. A decision is expected the day before the ceremony.
Death from cardiac arrest
Organizers said the Korean man who died after being found unresponsive at an Olympics media village was a 53-year-old interpreter working for a consortium of Japanese broadcasters. Organizing committee spokesman Sung Baik-you said the man died from a cardiac arrest. The man was not responsive when he was found Friday in his room by a co-worker, and was pronounced dead on arrival at a nearby hospital. Sung said organizers will not release the man's name out of respect for his family.
Olympic TV schedule
1:40-4 a.m. Men's hockey Czech Republic vs. Switzerland
4-6:10 a.m. Women's curling Canada vs. Switzerland
6:10-9:15 p.m. Men's hockey Sweden vs. Finland; Bobsled two-man runs
9:15 a.m.-noon Freestyle skiing men's aerials gold medal final; Speedskating women's 500m gold medal final; Pursuit men's team competition; Biathlon men's 15km mass start gold medal final
Noon-4 p.m. Cross country men's 40km relay gold medal final
6-9:15 p.m. Figure skating ice dancing short dance
9:15 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Freestyle skiing men's aerials gold medal final; Women's hockey semifinal match
6-8:30 a.m. Men's hockey Canada vs. South Korea
2-5 p.m. Freestyle skiing men's aerials gold medal final; Speedskating men's team pursuit; Biathlon men's 15km mass start gold medal final
6-11 p.m. Figure skating ice dancing short dance; Freestyle skiing women's halfpipe; Speedskating women's 500m gold medal final; Bobsled two-man runs; Cross country men's 40km relay gold medal final
11:35 p.m.-1 a.m. Snowboarding women's big air
3-6 p.m. Men's curling United States vs. Norway
12:30-3:30 a.m. Women's curling United States vs. Denmark
3:30-6:10 a.m. Men's curling United States vs. Canada
6:10-10 a.m. Women's hockey semifinal match; Ski jumping men's team large hill gold medal final
10-11:30 a.m. Bobsled two-man gold medal final runs; Speedskating men's 500m gold medal final; Pursuit women's team competition
11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Men's curling United States vs. Canada
6-9:10 p.m. Figure skating ice dancing gold medal final; Alpine skiing women's downhill training
9:10-11:30 p.m. Men's hockey elimination game
11:30 p.m.-1:40 a.m. Men's curling Canada vs. Japan
2-4 p.m. Ski jumping men's team large hill gold medal final; Speedskating men's 500m gold medal final; Pursuit women's team competition
7-10:30 p.m. Figure skating ice dancing gold medal final; Freestyle skiing women's halfpipe gold medal final; Bobsled two-man gold medal final runs
11:05 p.m.-midnight Freestyle skiing men's halfpipe
4-7 p.m. Women's curling United States vs. China
Erin Jackson of the United States will be among those competing today in the women’s speedskating 500-meter races. Coverage of the event can be seen on NBC Sports Network starting at 9:15 a.m. Central and again in NBC’s prime-time coverage starting at 6 p.m.
Sports on 02/18/2018
Print Headline: Olympic roundup