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Olympics Live: Japan’s Takagi wins 1000m speedskating gold

February 17, 2022 GMT
Miho Takagi of Japan competes during the women's speedskating 1,000-meter finals at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
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Miho Takagi of Japan competes during the women's speedskating 1,000-meter finals at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
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Miho Takagi of Japan competes during the women's speedskating 1,000-meter finals at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

BEIJING (AP) — The Latest on the Beijing Winter Olympics:

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Miho Takagi of Japan has won her fourth speedskating medal of the Beijing Games and the first individual gold of her career with an Olympic-record victory in the women’s 1,000 meters.

The silver went to Jutta Leerdam of the Netherlands, while Brittany Bowe of the United States claimed the first individual medal of her career with a bronze.

Takagi added to silver medals in the 500 meters, 1,500 meters and team pursuit at the Beijing Games. She won three medals in Pyeongchang four years ago, taking gold in the team pursuit, silver in the 1,500 and bronze in the 1,000.

Takagi won with a time of 1 minute, 13.19 seconds, easily breaking the previous Olympic record of 1:13.56 set in 2018 by Jorien ter Mors. Ter Mors did not get a chance to defend her title after failing to make the powerful Dutch team.

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Leerdam posted a time of 1:13.83 despite dragging her left hand on the ice to stay upright in a turn. Bowe grabbed the bronze in 1:14.61, just 0.1 seconds ahead of Russian skater Angelina Golikova.

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Austria’s ski jumpers combined for 475.4 points in the Nordic combined team event Thursday. That gives them an eight-second lead in a cross-country ski race later in the day as competition in the sport wraps up at the Beijing Games.

Norway’s four-man team will start second, followed closely by Germany and Japan.

Ten countries will each have four skiers racing 5K on a cross-country course. The one that finishes first wins gold.

The bottom six teams have a very slim chance to catch up to the contenders, especially China’s young team. The Chinese skiers will have to wait 6 minutes and 28 seconds at the start line after the Austrians start a race that will take them about 50 minutes to finish.

Nordic combined star Jarl Magnus Riiber of Norway, who was hit hard by COVID-19, isn’t part of Norway’s team. He traveled home on Thursday after competing in one event. The three-time champion took the wrong turn early in a 10K cross-country race and lost a large lead he earned in ski jumping on Tuesday night, a day after getting out of COVID isolation.

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Beijing Olympics organizers have reported their first day of no new COVID-19 cases.

There were no new positive COVID tests among 5,239 athletes and team officials and 63,731 workers inside the Beijing Olympic bubble in the 24-hour period through Wednesday, according to figures published Thursday.

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Everyone inside the bubble must undergo daily tests.

Just seven people arrived at the Beijing airport Wednesday for the Olympics and none has returned a positive test.

A total of 435 confirmed positive tests have been detected since Jan. 23 from more than 1.6 million tests. Of those, 264 were athletes and officials and 171 were Games workers.

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Russian world pairs champions Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov drew the most favorable position, first in the final group, for the short program to start their event Friday night at Capital Indoor Stadium.

The pairs competition, which concludes with Saturday night’s free skate, is the final discipline at the Beijing Games.

Mishina and Galliamov were drawn into the final group with their teammates, Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov and world bronze medalists Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii. The reigning Olympic silver medalists, Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China, also are in the final group.

Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier, who helped the U.S. win team silver, will perform second among the 19 pairs. Their teammates, Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc, will perform in the penultimate group.

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World champion Sandra Naeslund of Sweden won the women’s Olympic skicross competition in a race where the third-place finisher was disqualified.

Naeslund opened up a lead and held off Canada’s Marielle Thompson on a snowy day along the winding course filled with bumps and jumps. The third-place finisher was Fanny Smith of Switzerland, but after a delay the bronze was awarded to Daniela Maier of Germany. Smith moved her left ski directly into the line of Maier and Maier briefly lost her balance. Maier fell two body lengths behind and couldn’t catch up. Following the review, Smith’s place was listed as “RAL” -- ranked as last.

Naeslund’s win ends the reign of Canada, which had won every Olympic gold in the women’s version of the race since its debut at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

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Nordic combined star Jarl Magnus Riiber of Norway was one and done at the Beijing Games.

Riiber traveled home on Thursday, two days after he took the wrong turn early in a 10K cross-country race and lost a large lead he earned in ski jumping.

He’s not skiing in Thursday’s team competition.

The three-time world champion was in isolation for more than 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Beijing. A little more than 24 hours after being cleared for competition, Riiber led the field in ski jumping before getting disoriented on the cross-country course and struggling to ski because he did not feel physically fit.

Norway has a four-man team entered in the team competition, the final Nordic combined event of the 2022 Olympics. The teams will have four jumpers and each of them will ski in a 5K cross-country race later in the day.

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Defending champion Michelle Gisin of Switzerland clinched a second straight Olympic gold medal in the Alpine combined race after Mikaela Shiffrin again skied out in the slalom run.

Gisin beat teammate Wendy Holdener by more than a second in the two-run race to help Switzerland make it a record five gold medals in Alpine skiing at a single Olympics.

Shiffrin was fifth-fastest in the downhill portion of the two-run combined on Thursday morning but went out without making it to the bottom in the slalom leg in the afternoon. She took home silver in the combined four years ago.

Federica Brignone of Italy was third, 1.85 seconds behind Gisin, to claim a second medal in Beijing. She also took silver in the giant slalom — another race Shiffrin failed to finish.

The 28-year-old Gisin, who edged Holdener by 1.05 seconds on Thursday, also won a bronze in last week’s super-G.

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Gus Kenworthy has squeaked into the Olympic ski halfpipe final, finishing a solid run then waiting almost an hour to find out if he would earn one of the 12 spots in the gold-medal round. He finished 12th.

Kenworthy, the 2014 silver medalist who adopted stray dogs at the Sochi Games, is competing for his mother’s home country, Britain, in what he says will be his last Olympics. He has struggled this season and is not considered a medal favorite.

Aaron Blunck of the United States finished first in qualifying, followed by Nico Porteous of New Zealand and Birk Irving of the U.S. Two-time defending champion David Wise qualified in fourth.

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For two weeks and more, China’s stance on questions about its politics and policies has been straightforward: It’s the Olympics, and we’re not talking about these things.

That changed Thursday at the Beijing organizing committee’s daily news conference, three days before the end of the Games. The persistent and polite refusal to answer questions gave way to the usual state of affairs at news conferences with Chinese officials — emphatic answers about the country’s most sensitive situations.

Taiwan? An indivisible part of China. The Uyghur population of the Xinjiang region? Not being pushed into forced labor. China’s sovereignty? Completely unassailable under international norms.

“What I want to say is that there is only one China in the world,” organizing committee spokeswoman Yan Jiarong said, calling it “a solemn position” for China.

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Canada has defeated the United States 3-2 in the fierce rivals’ latest showdown to win the gold medal in women’s hockey.

Marie-Philip Poulin scored twice and assisted on Sarah Nurse’s goal to add another chapter to her legacy as “Captain Clutch” for Canada. Goalie Ann-Renee Desbiens made 38 saves and was at her best when under siege.

Canada won Olympic gold for the fifth time in seven chances since women’s hockey was introduced at the 1998 Nagano Games. The defending champion U.S. settled for silver for a fourth time.

The Americans got a goal from star winger Hilary Knight and another with 13.5 seconds left from Amanda Kessel. But they could not get past Desbiens again to force overtime.

It was Canada’s fourth gold medal of the Beijing Games.

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Mikaela Shiffrin has skied out in the Alpine combined and once again was unable to finish a race at the Beijing Olympics.

She will leave the 2022 Games without an individual medal after participating in all five women’s events.

Not only did she go 0 for 5, but the 26-year-old American did not even manage to complete three of those races.

Shiffrin was fifth-fastest in the downhill portion of the two-run combined on Thursday morning but went out without making it to the bottom in the slalom leg in the afternoon.

She took home a silver in the combined four years ago.

She came to China as one of the biggest stars in winter sports and already the owner of two Olympic gold medals — from the slalom in 2014 and the giant slalom in 2018.

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Olympic champions Martin Fourcade and Frida Hansdotter have been elected by athletes at the Beijing Games to represent them as members of the International Olympic Committee.

Fourcade, a biathlete from France, and Hansdotter, an Alpine skier from Sweden, got the most votes cast by 2,307 athletes in a 16-candidate election.

Both retired from competition since winning Olympic titles at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games and will now serve eight-year terms at the IOC.

The International Olympic Committee has about 100 members who meet annually. Members mostly rubber-stamp proposals from the executive board, such as the new policy of confirming a pre-selected candidate that will host a future Olympics.

Fourcade and Hansdotter replace Canadian hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser, whose eight years ends Sunday at the closing ceremony, and Norwegian biathlon great Ole Einar Bjørndalen, who resigned from the IOC in 2016.

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The U.S. and Canada are facing off for women’s hockey gold at the Beijing Olympics.

One of international sports’ fiercest and longest-running grudge matches is playing out for the second time.

The U.S. is the defending Olympic champion after rallying to beat Canada 3-2 in a shootout at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.

The Canadians are considered the favorites this time after steamrolling to a 6-0 record and outscoring opponents 54-8, including a 4-2 win over the U.S. in group play.

Canada also had the edge over its cross-border rivals since captain Marie-Philip Poulin scored the gold-medal-winning goal in a 3-2 overtime win over the U.S. at the world championships in August to end the Americans’ streak of five tournament titles.

Overall at the Olympics, which added women’s hockey in 1998, Canada is 6-3 against the U.S., with four gold medals to the Americans’ two.

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American John Shuster and the defending Olympic curling champions won a last-chance match to qualify for the playoffs at the Beijing Olympics. They beat Denmark 7-5 to keep their hopes of a repeat gold medal alive.

The Americans will play Britain in the semifinals later Thursday night. Reigning silver medalist Sweden will meet Canada, which finished fourth a year ago.

Four years after winning five straight elimination games to take gold -- just the second Olympic curling medal in U.S. history -- Shuster’s foursome was again in a desperate position.

This time there was a twist, though: Even with a loss, they could have made the playoffs if Italy beat Norway. (The Americans beat Norway 7-6 in the round-robin to claim the tiebreaker.)

In the end, Italy lost. The Americans needed to win, and they did.

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Christine Scheyer of Austria is in the lead after the downhill run of the Alpine combined race at the Beijing Olympics. Two-time Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States is in fifth place.

Shiffrin is 0.56 seconds behind Scheyer, who has never won a medal at a major championship.

They’ll compete in the second part of the event, the slalom, Thursday afternoon Beijing time.

Scheyer is 0.01 ahead of Czech skier Ester Ledecka, who is attempting to win a second event at a second straight Olympics after successfully defending her gold in snowboarding’s parallel giant slalom.

Ramona Siebenhofer of Austria is 0.14 behind in third.

The combined adds the times from one downhill run and one slalom run.

Shiffrin’s best event for years has been the slalom. She won a gold medal in that discipline at age 18 at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. But she also only made it through five gates in the slalom last week before skiing out. She also did not finish the giant slalom.

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The women’s biathlon mass start race at the Beijing Olympics will be held a day ahead of schedule because strong winds and especially cold temperatures are forecast for Saturday at the Zhangjiakou National Biathlon Center.

The women’s 12.5-kilometer (7.76-mile) mass start has been moved to 3 p.m. Friday instead of 5 p.m. Saturday. The men’s mass start is still set for 5 p.m. Friday.

The forecast predicts Saturday’s temperatures to hover around the minus 8 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 22 Celsius) range, while on Friday there could be some snow and temperatures around 7 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 14 Celsius), which is still frigid, but within the allowable competition range, which cuts off racing at minus 20 degrees Celsius.

The change means that biathlon at the 2022 Olympics will end Friday.

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Eileen Gu recorded the top score not once but twice in a competitive ski halfpipe qualifier as she chases her third medal at the Beijing Games.

The standout American-born freestyle skier who represents China already has a gold from big air and a silver from slopestyle. She’s bidding to become the first action-sports athlete to capture three medals at the same Winter Games.

Gu played it safe in the first of her two runs and still scored a 93.75. Hardly content, she went even bigger on her final run and scored a 95.50 on what was a crisp morning at the Genting Snow Park. Rachael Karker of Canada was in second position and Estonia’s Kelly Sildaru in third. Brita Sigourney was in eighth position, one of three Americans to make the top 12 for Friday’s final.

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Two-time Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin made it through the downhill leg of the Alpine combined and will get a chance to go for a medal in the slalom run.

Shiffrin went ninth out of 26 skiers on the downhill portion of the two-run event Thursday.

The American’s time of 1 minute, 32.98 seconds has her in fifth place of 12 skiers.

Shiffrin is 0.56 seconds behind current leader Christine Scheyer of Austria.

The slalom leg is scheduled to begin in about 3 1/2 hours on a different slope at the National Alpine Skiing Center.

Shiffrin’s best event for years has been the slalom. She won a gold medal in that discipline at age 18 at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. But she also only made it through five gates in the slalom in Beijing last week.

Shiffrin also did not finish the giant slalom. She was ninth in the super-G and 18th in the downhill. The combined is her fifth individual event of the 2022 Winter Games. She has said she also plans to enter the team event on Saturday.

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