Olympics roundup: Russians get 1st gold, Germany beats Canada in hockey
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — The Russians finally won a gold medal at the Pyeongchang Olympics. The Canadian men’s hockey team won’t even get the chance after losing to Germany.
Alina Zagitova edged training partner Evgenia Medvedeva on Friday in figure skating, giving the Russians a reason to celebrate a 1-2 finish.
“I haven’t fully realized yet that I’ve won,” the 15-year-old Zagitova said. “I think I need some time to understand that I won the Olympic Games.”
She and Medvedeva tied in the free skate with 156.65 points, but Zagitova had won the short program Wednesday — giving her the edge by only 1.31 points.
“I can’t believe I am the champion,” Zagitova said.
The Russians’ gold drought had been one of the ongoing story lines of the games, and they were running out of time to get one — although those concerns were eased a bit by Zagitova and Medvedeva coming into the day in prime position to win.
Now, the Russians should have a great shot at another gold medal with the men’s hockey team advancing to the final after a 3-0 victory over the Czech Republic. They’ll face the Germans, who shocked two-time defending champion Canada, 4-3, to advance to Sunday’s title game.
Germany jumped out to leads of 3-0 and 4-1 before Canada rallied to get back in the game during the third period. They came close, but will do no better than bronze when they face the Czech Republic on Saturday.
“We deserve to be there and the best team will win,” Russian forward Ilya Kovalchuk said. “We will be ready for the game, for sure.”
Kelsey Serwa of Canada won the gold in women’s skicross, adding to the silver she won four years ago in Sochi.
Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands took the men’s 1,000 meters in speedskating, edging Havard Lorentzen of Norway by 0.04 seconds. Nuis also won the 1,500 last week.
Martin Fourcade fell short in his bid for his fourth Olympic gold medal in South Korea as France finished fifth in the men’s 4×7.5-kilometer biathlon relay, won by Sweden.
SWISS DON’T MISS
Switzerland’s men’s team clinched the bronze in curling when Benoit Schwarz took out two Canadian stones with his last throw of the 10th and final end.
Canada had just one throw left, so it was unable to score the two points it needed to force an extra end.
At Phoenix Snow Park, Serwa took the lead early and had a big advantage when she completed the course.
“I knew that there was no way to let up, that these girls would be right behind, fighting,” Serwa said. “I tried to stay as compact and aerodynamic as possible and all the way to the finish line.”
In women’s curling, South Korea beat Japan, 8-7, in an intense semifinal game that went to the 11th end. South Korea skip Kim Eun-jung made a perfect shot with the hammer that stopped right on the button to clinch the victory.
The South Koreans will face Sweden for gold on Sunday.