PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — Two-time Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin is dropping out of the downhill at the Pyeongchang Games so she can focus on the combined event that was moved to the following day.
Shiffrin’s decision was announced shortly after officials said they were moving the combined up a day to Thursday because of strong winds in Friday’s forecast.
The downhill is Wednesday, so the 22-year-old American suddenly would have had to race on consecutive days. When she tried that earlier at these Olympics, she followed up her gold in the giant slalom by finishing fourth in the slalom.
Shiffrin had talked at the Sochi Games about aiming for five gold medals in 2018. Now she will end up competing in only three of the five individual events in South Korea.
The most frantic finish in Olympic bobsled history may be happening.
There are five sleds all within 0.13 seconds of one another going into the final heat of the two-man competition Monday at the Pyeongchang Olympics. Canada’s Justin Kripps leads over Germany’s Francesco Friedrich, Germany’s Johannes Lochner, Latvia’s Oskars Melbardis and Germany’s Nico Walther.
That’s only the second time in Olympic history that five sleds have been within a quarter-second going into the last heat of a four-run race — in any sliding sport.
It’s also the second time it’s happened the last three days. There were five sleds within 0.23 seconds of the lead going into the final run of women’s skeleton on Saturday night.
WOMEN’S TEAM PURSUIT:
The U.S. women have advanced to the semifinals of team pursuit with a chance to win a speedskating medal at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
Heather Bergsma, Brittany Bowe and Mia Manganello were timed in 2 minutes, 59.75 seconds on Monday.
They finished fourth in the quarterfinals. The top four teams moved on.
The Americans have yet to win a medal at the big oval.
The Netherlands qualified fastest in an Olympic-record time of 2:55.61. Japan was second and Canada third.
The U.S. will be paired against the Dutch in the semis on Wednesday.
The Netherlands has won its heat in the women’s team pursuit speedskating quarterfinals in Olympic-record time.
Marrit Leenstra, Ireen Wust and Antoinette de Jong were clocked in 2 minutes, 55.61 seconds on Monday at the Pyeongchang Games. That bettered the old mark of 2 minutes, 58.05 seconds set by the Netherlands four years ago in Sochi.
The teams with the four fastest times advance to the semifinals.
The surprise winner of the super-G in Alpine skiing at the Pyeongchang Olympics is not even attempting to compete in the downhill.
Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic will be the first women’s super-G champion to not enter the downhill at the same Winter Games since Diann Roffe in 1994.
Ledecka stunned Lindsey Vonn, defending champion Anna Veith and everyone else by coming out of nowhere to win the super-G on Saturday after never finishing better than seventh in 19 career World Cup ski races.
She is also a snowboarder and is expected to enter qualifying for the parallel giant slalom in that sport on Thursday.
That would make her the first Olympic competitor in Alpine skiing and snowboarding.
The Americans are back in the Olympic gold medal game in women’s hockey.
Dani Cameranesi scored two goals and an assist, and the United States advanced to the gold medal game for a third straight Olympics after beating Finland 5-0 in the semifinal Monday.
The Americans will play the winner of the other semifinal between Canada and the Russians. That game is Monday night.
Gigi Marvin started the scoring. Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Hilary Knight had a goal apiece as they turned a 5-on-3 into two goals 34 seconds apart in the second.
Maddie Rooney made 14 saves for the shutout.
Finland remains winless now in eight games against the Americans in the Olympics and now will play for the bronze medal on Wednesday.
American Lindsey Vonn was third-fastest on the second day of Olympic downhill training, despite easing up and standing tall with arms spread at the finish.
The 2010 Vancouver Games gold medalist, who missed the 2014 Olympics after knee surgery, finished the 1 3/4-mile (2.8-kilometer) course at the Jeongseon Alpine Center in 1 minute, 40.10 seconds on Monday. That was nearly a second faster than the time she turned in Sunday to lead the opening training run.
There is more training Tuesday. The race is Wednesday.
Austria’s Stephanie Venier, the runner-up at last year’s world championships, led Monday’s session at 1:39.75, with Italy’s Sofia Goggia next.
Pyeongchang Olympics giant slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin was 16th-fastest. She and Vonn are assured of being picked for the four-woman U.S. downhill team, and Alice McKennis earned a spot by having the best time of other contenders Monday, arriving ninth overall.
Surprise super-G gold medalist Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic has not participated in either downhill training run and is expected to instead compete in her other sport, snowboarding, where qualifying for the parallel giant slalom is Thursday.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir lead the ice dance competition at the Pyeongchang Olympics after a record-breaking short program set to the rock music of the Rolling Stones, the Eagles and Santana.
The Canadian duo scored 83.67 points to lead their training partners and biggest rivals, Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, by more than a point heading into Tuesday’s free dance.
The French couple scored 81.93 points for their Latin short program.
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the U.S. are third, two-hundredths of a point ahead of their compatriots, Alex and Maia Shibutani. Fellow Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates are seventh.
Russian curlers say a coach on their team has told them that mixed doubles bronze medalist Alexander Krushelnitsky tested positive for a banned substance at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
Women’s skip Viktoria Moiseeva says the coach “came to tell us the news” late Sunday South Korea time.
She adds the team wanted to comfort Krushelnitsky and his wife and curling partner Anastasia Bryzgalova but “we thought that there are no words to comfort now. We just tried to stay away.”
Russian Curling Federation president Dmitry Svishchev would not confirm the athlete’s name. Svishchev said it was possible that an athlete’s food or drink had been spiked with a banned substance.
International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams says a failed doping test by a Russian athlete could keep the country’s banned team from being reinstated and marching under the national flag at the closing ceremony.
Krushelnitsky, whose event is over, was not with the team at the arena Monday.
Two-time Olympic medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have broken their own record for an ice dance short program with a score of 83.67 points at Gangneung Ice Arena.
The Canadians, who won Olympic gold in Vancouver and silver in Sochi, received level-four marks on all five elements in their program. That included a dazzling midline step sequence to open the program and a rhumba sequence on which they were graded harshly during the team event.
Virtue and Moir performed both their short and free skate programs in helping Canada win team gold.Grab the FREE WDTN News App for iPhone or Android. Stay up to date with all the local news, weather and sports as well as live newscasts and events as they happen. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all the latest news, weather and sports.