Wust powers to 1,500m gold for record 10th medal

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Ireen Wust of the Netherlands in actionen route to the Women’s 1500m Speed Skating competition gold at the Gangneung Oval at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics on Monday. — Reuters

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Ireen Wust of the Netherlands claimed a record 10th Olympic speed skating medal when she surged to gold in the women's 1,500 meters at the Gangneung Oval on Monday.

Wust, who is also the first Dutch athlete to win five Olympic gold medals, crossed the line in one minute 54.35 seconds, with Japan's Miho Takagi taking the silver and another Dutch skater Marrit Leenstra winning bronze.

Wust's second medal of the Games after her heartbreak in the 3,000m on Saturday where she finished 0.08 seconds behind compatriot Carlijn Achtereekte, lifted her past Germany's Claudia Pechstein to stand alone as the most successful speed skater in history.

The 31-year-old Wust ran out of steam on the last lap of the 3,000m but made no mistake in the shorter distance, powering around the course to claim a second career 1,500m Olympic gold after her victory in Vancouver eight years ago.

Standing on the podium Wust, who will call time on her glittering career after the Olympics, raised her arms and jumped into the air after cementing her place in history.

German biathlete Laura Dahlmeier became the first double gold medalist of the Olympics by capturing the women's 10-kilometer pursuit at the Games.

Dahlmeier previously won the 7.5-kilometer sprint on Sunday night. With a healthy lead, Dahlmeier grabbed a German flag from a fan in the crowd about 50 meters from the finish line and began waving it as she crossed.

Dahlmeier entered the games ranked fourth in the world but had never won a gold medal. She is quickly becoming the darling of the German team.

After hitting all 10 targets in the sprint, Dahlmeier was nearly perfect again in her second race, hitting 19 of 20 shots to cruise to a victory by more than 29 seconds over Slovakia's Anastasiya Kuzmina, who edged France's Anais Bescond for silver.

It didn't take long for Martin Fourcade to return to the top of the biathlon world at the Olympics. The Frenchman bounced back from a disappointing eighth-place finish in the sprint race to win the gold medal in the 12.5-kilometer pursuit on Monday night.

Sweden's Sebastian Samuelsson took home the silver medal, and Germany's Benedikt Doll earned bronze. Fourcade has won six career medals, three of them gold.

He hit 19 of 20 targets and overcame a 24-second deficit to start the race. After taking the lead on the third shoot, Fourcade hit his final five shots and turned and pumped his fist at the crowd, knowing the victory was in hand.

Canada's Mikael Kingsbury has stormed his way to Olympic gold in men's moguls, filling the one hole in his resume with a dynamic performance in the final round.

The six-time world champion and silver medalist in Sochi four years ago posted a score of 86.63, the best of any in the three elimination rounds. His victory gives Canada its third straight Olympic gold in men's moguls. Matt Graham of Australia took silver, with Daichi Hara of Japan earning bronze.

Switzerland will compete for an Olympic gold medal against Canada after beating a team of Russian athletes in the mixed doubles curling semifinal.

Switzerland's 7-5 victory on Monday means they will go home with at least a silver medal in Tuesday night's match-up against Canada. The Russian athletes will play Norway for the bronze medal Tuesday morning.

The Russians blew their chance to tie the game in the final round of play when they threw their last stone too hard, missing the target. Swiss curler Jenny Perret blinked back tears after the victory, dubbing her chance at a gold medal "unbelievable."

Sara Benz scored two power-play goals and Switzerland smothered Japan's quest for its first Olympic victory in women's hockey with a 3-1 win. Japanese forward Rui Ukita sat out Monday, suspended for kicking at an opponent in their 2-1 opening loss to Sweden at the Games.

Japan outshot the Swiss 38-18 and even had a 5-on-3 in the first period. But they couldn't beat goalie Florence Schelling even with an extra attacker over the final 3:46.

The Swiss got going in the second. Benz scored from the right circle going top shelf at 10:19, and she finished off a breakaway before sliding into the net at 13:10. Alina Muller stole the puck and finished her own breakaway at 4:27 of the third. Hanae Kubo redirected Mika Hori's shot for a goal at 7:33.

The United States has earned the bronze medal in team figure skating. It clinched third even before its ice dancers took the ice. Canada already was assured of the gold and the Russians had taken silver heading into the final discipline.

The Americans led Italy by four points, and when the Italian ice dancers, Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte, did not score well enough to win the free dance, the US had replicated its third-place finish in the event at Sochi.

That pretty much left Maia and Alex Shibutani's program as an exhibition. The medals winners were the same as in 2014, except the Canadians had moved up a spot, and the Russians — the Olympic Athletes from Russia this time around — won gold.

Russian skater Alina Zagitova says she's delighted after blowing away the competition in the team event free skate. The 15-year-old skating star scored a personal-best 158.08 points — 2.38 off Evgenia Medvedeva's world record. She skated to "Don Quixote" to win by a 20-point margin, underlining her credentials as a challenger for the individual gold medal later in the games.

"I'm really happy with my skate," Zagitova said. "I was able to cope with my nerves and I'm very pleased that I didn't let my team down."

Zagitova proved she could beat Medvedeva at last month's European championships and hopes to do the same at the Olympics, but says there's no rivalry with her training partner. Instead, she said, "We've really bonded during these competitions." — Agencies


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