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American Shiffrin makes PyeongChang debut while German duo get pairs figure skating gold

Update: February, 15/2018 - 23:09
Mikaela Shiffrin from the United States won gold medal at the women’s giant slalom of alpine skiing at Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Yongpyong Alpine Centre, PyeongChang, South Korea on Feb. 15, 2018. Mikaela Shiffrin claimed champion in a time of 2:20.02. — Xinhua
Viet Nam News
PYEONGCHANG — American Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin took women’s giant slalom gold medal in her long-coveted debut in PyeongChang as she aimed for more from the Winter Olympic Games here on Thursday.
Shiffrin, who won gold in Sochi four years ago, came back from second position after the first run to clock a competition-best time of 2 minutes and 20.02 seconds.
"I don’t know how to explain it. It’s crazy. There’s so much emotion," Shiffrin said following her victory. "It’s the Olympics but I still, I have a lot of events to do still, I have the slalom race tomorrow, so I have to refocus my energy, but to come to the Olympics after some tough races on the World Cup circuit and, you know, to charge like that. I risked it on the second run. It’s super cool," added Shiffrin, who has posted 41 World Cup victories. Shiffrin will go out to defend her title in slalom on Friday. She can become the first Alpine skier, male or female, to win successive Olympic gold medals in the slalom.
The bad weather postponed her Alpine skiing events earlier this week and the 22-year-old superstar, who had planned to enter in for three and even four events, now has to compete in three races in three days if she takes part in Saturday’s Super-G. Earlier in the day, Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot won Olympic pairs figure skating gold with a flawless, record-setting free skate, which helped Germany get the eighth gold at the Games. The duo claimed the title with a personal best of 235.90 points. Sui Wenjing and Han Cong won China a second silver medal at PyeongChang Olympics with 235.47 points, 0.43 points away from the top of the podium.
The silver came after Liu Jiayu snatched the silver medal of the women’s snowboard halfpipe for China on Tuesday and became the first Chinese snowboard Olympic medalist. Leading in short program, Sui and Han was hopeful to become the second Chinese pair to claim the Olympic gold in this event, after their coach Zhao Hongbo paring his wife Shen Xue won the title in Vancouver 2010.
Skating to the classic Turandot by Giacomo Puccini, the Chinese duo, the last but one to skate, suffered a major setback when Han under-rotated a double toeloop in a planned combination of triple Salchow plus two double toeloop jumps at the beginning.
The hesitation-caught Sui stumbled on the following side-by-side triple Salchow jump, which killed the pair’s "gold" dream in the advance. "It’s a great, great pity for us. We are so close to the championship regarding the final score," the 25-year-old Han told Xinhua.
"But we have great respect to the German and Canadian pairs, standing on the podium with us. They were competing with my coach Zhao before. They never give up, which is, for us, a great encouragement. We will show you the best of us at Beijing Games."
Elsewhere, winter sports powerhouse Norway continued their push on the medals table with thre more golds. Aksel Lund Svindal first won the men’s downhill becoming the oldest-ever Olympic gold medalist in Alpine skiing at the age of 35. Then Ragnhild Haga snatched the gold of the women’s 10km cross-country free skiing using just 25 minutes.
Johannes Thinges added a third in the men’s biathlon. Canada’s Ted-Jan Bloemen dethroned defending champion Jorrit Bergsma of the Netherlands to win the men’s 10,000m speed skating in Olympic-record time of 12 minutes, 39.77 seconds. Bergsma took the silver and Nicola Tumolero of Italy earned the bronze.
There were also wins for Hanna Oeberg of Sweden who claimed women’s biathlon 15km individual, Pierre Vaultier of France who defended his title in men’s snowboard cross. — Xinhua
 
Sui Wenjing (Top) and Han Cong of China won silver medal in pair skating in Gangneung Ice Arena, South Korea, on Feb. 15, 2018. — Xinhua

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