Associated Press
Thursday, February 22, 2018

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) - The Latest on the Pyeongchang Olympics (all times local):

11:50 p.m.

Alina Zagitova won the women’s figure skating competition over her training partner Evgenia Medvedeva on Day 14 of the Pyeongchang Olympics, becoming the first Russian gold medalist at the games.

In other highlights Friday, Germany upset Canada 4-3 in the semifinals of the men’s hockey tournament and will face off against the Russians for gold.

South Korean darlings “The Garlic Girls” are headed to the finals in women’s curling after beating Japan 8-7 in an extra end. The team has become a sensation during the Olympics, where they are known by the pungent bulb grown in their hometown.

And Sweden routed powerhouses Norway and Germany to capture gold in the men’s 4x7.5-kilometer relay in front of their king, Carl XVI Gustaf, to close out the biathlon competition.


11:35 p.m.

Germany has upset Canada 4-3 in the semifinals of the men’s hockey tournament at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Canada trailed 3-0 and 4-1 before battling back to cut the deficit to one in the third period Friday. Canada played the second half of the game without goal-scorer Gilbert Brule, who was ejected for a brutal hit to the head of Germany’s David Wolf at center ice.

Brooks Macek, Matthias Plachta, Frank Mauer and Patrick Hager all scored for Germany.

Kevin Poulin started for Canada because of a shoulder/collarbone injury to No. 1 goaltender Ben Scrivens. Poulin allowed four goals on 15 shots but was less to blame than Brule and other players who took several undisciplined penalties.

Germany will play the Russians in the finals Sunday.


11:20 p.m.

Ivanka Trump has told South Korea’s president that she will use her visit to the Winter Olympics to advocate maximum pressure on North Korea to halt its nuclear program.

The daughter of President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. delegation at this weekend’s closing ceremony for the Pyeongchang Games.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, however, highlighted at a banquet at the presidential compound how the Olympics have served as a vehicle for dialogue between the two Koreas.

A high-level North Korean delegation will also attend the closing ceremony, but the South Korean government said it’s unlikely Ivanka Trump will meet the North Koreans.

Vice President Mike Pence attended the Olympics’ opening ceremony and sat awkwardly in a VIP box with the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un behind him. The two had no apparent contact.


11:10 p.m.

South Korea’s “Garlic Girls” are going for a gold medal at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The hosts beat Japan 8-7 in an extra end on Friday night in the women’s curling semifinals, earning the right to play in Sunday’s championship game against Sweden.

Korea led 7-4 before Japan scored two in the ninth and then stole a point to tie it in the 10th even though the hosts had the last-rock advantage known as the hammer. In the extra end, skip Kim Eun-jung used the hammer to deliver a stone right into the scoring target, with her teammates raising their brooms in triumph as it slowed to a stop.

The Korean curlers have become a sensation during the Olympics, where they are known by the pungent bulb grown in their hometown.


10:45 p.m.

Team Canada is 20 minutes away from being knocked out of the men’s hockey tournament at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Canada trails Germany 4-1 at the second intermission of the Olympic semifinals and is without top-line winger and goal-scorer Gilbert Brule, who was ejected for a brutal hit to the head of David Wolf.

Playing without injured starter Ben Scrivens, Canada turned to Kevin Poulin in goal and has allowed two power-play goals to a Germany team coached by former NHL player Marco Sturm.

Canada is the two-time defending champion in men’s hockey. Its women’s team lost to the United States in a shootout in the gold-medal game Thursday, ending that streak at four golds. Neither Canada’s men’s nor women’s curling teams won a medal.


10:35 p.m.

Sweden will be going for a pair of gold medals in curling at the Pyeongchang Games.

The Swedish women advanced Friday night to the championship game with a 10-5 semifinal victory over Great Britain.

The Swedish men will play the U.S. for the gold on Saturday. In the women’s division, Sweden will play the winner of the semifinal between South Korea and Japan. The British team has a chance for its second straight bronze.

The Swedish women scored two in the sixth end to break a 3-3 tie and then stole three points in the seventh even though Britain had the last-rock advantage. After scoring two points in the ninth end, the British conceded. Sweden shook hands, as is the custom, then hugged as a group while jumping up and down on the ice.


10:10 p.m.

Four-time Olympic medalist Shani Davis has finished seventh in 1,000-meter long-track speedskating, his last event at the Pyeongchang Games.

After the race, the American waved to the fans and disappeared below the ice Friday.

Whether Davis had just skated in his fifth and final Olympics at age 35 remains to be seen.

He declined to speak to media and instructed his sometime-coach Tom Cushman of the American staff not to talk to reporters, either.

Davis’ time in Pyeongchang involved a mix of controversy and public silence.

He declined to attend the opening ceremony after losing a coin toss to decide the U.S. flag bearer in a process he said was handled “dishonorably.” His tweet about it implied race might have been an issue, but he chose not to explain further.


10 p.m.

Gold medalist Jessie Diggins has been chosen to carry the flag for the U.S. into the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Olympics.

She’s the first cross-country skier to carry the U.S. flag into any Olympic ceremony since Bill Koch at Albertville in 1992.

This year, she memorably thrust herself across the finish line to give the Americans gold in the cross-country team sprint.

Retiring luge star and 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Erin Hamlin carried the U.S. flag into the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Games two weeks ago.

This becomes the first time women have been picked as U.S. flagbearers for both the opening and closing of an Olympics since 2004, when basketball’s Dawn Staley led the Americans into the Athens Games and soccer’s Mia Hamm carried the flag out.


9:45 p.m.

Sweden has routed powerhouses Norway and Germany to capture the gold medal in the men’s 4x7.5-kilometer relay in front of their king, Carl XVI Gustaf, to close out the biathlon competition at the Pyeongchang Games.

The team of Peppe Femling, Jesper Nelin, Sebastian Samuelsson and Fredrik Lindstroem teamed up to win by 55.5 seconds Friday over Norway, which took home the silver medal.

The Germans won the bronze, marking the seventh time they have medaled in this event in the last eight Olympics.

Norway and Germany entered the race tied in the overall gold medal lead at the Pyeongchang Games at 13 and both desperately wanted to win.

Germany was in front until the final leg when Simon Schempp missed four of eight shots and had to do a penalty lap.


8:25 p.m.

Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands has become a double Olympic champion after adding gold in the 1,000-meters to the 1,500 title he won last week.

Nuis crossed in 1 minute, 7.95 seconds, and held an edge of 0.04 seconds over Havard Lorentzen of Norway, the 500-meter champion.

Kim Tae-yun had the support of the crowd at the Olympic oval and finished in 1.08.22 for bronze.


7:50 p.m.

The Russian delegation at the Pyeongchang Olympics says a bobsledder tested positive for a banned substance called trimetazdine.

Russian Bobsled Federation President Alexander Zubkov told The Associated Press on Friday that a drug-test sample that pilot Nadezhda Sergeeva gave was positive.

The Russian delegation said in a statement that the substance found was trimetazdine, a medication used for angina sufferers. It is listed by the World Anti-Doping Agency as a banned substance affecting the metabolism.

Zubkov says Sergeeva confirms she took no such medication.

Sergeeva’s crew finished 12th in the women’s bobsled competition Wednesday after she had given the sample that later came back positive.

The Russian team was barred from the Pyeongchang Olympics for doping in Sochi, but the International Olympic Committee invited 168 athletes from the country to compete under the Olympic flag.


7:30 p.m.

The International Olympic Committee says a ceremony has been scheduled to give Norway’s mixed doubles curlers the bronze medal stripped from the Russian team over doping.

The IOC says on Twitter that Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten’s medals will be presented at the medals plaza Saturday - a rare quick turnaround for such a case.

The tweet included a photo of International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach welcoming Skaslien and Nedregotten back to Pyeongchang.

Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky was stripped of his medal after admitting to a doping violation. He tested positive for the banned substance meldonium after winning bronze in mixed doubles with his wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova.


7:15 p.m.

Veteran goaltender Vasily Koshechkin stopped all 31 shots he faced to put the Russians into the men’s gold medal hockey game with a 3-0 shutout against the Czech Republic in the semifinals at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

With teammates mostly clearing the way in front of him to let him see the puck, Koshechkin made save after save look routine in eliminating the Czech Republic. Koshechkin will almost certainly start the final Sunday.

Kontinental Hockey League star Nikita Gusev and Vladislav Gavrikov scored goals 27 seconds apart in the second period on plays Czech goaltender Pavel Francouz had little chance of stopping. Ilya Kovalchuk added an empty-netter with 20.9 seconds left to seal the Russians’ first trip to the gold medal game since 1998.

Canada and Germany’s semifinal is later Friday.


7:10 p.m.

The president of the Russian Bobsled Federation says a bobsledder whose crew finished 12th in the women’s competition has tested positive for a banned substance.

Alexander Zubkov says a drug-test sample that pilot Nadezhda Sergeeva gave Sunday was positive for a banned heart medication.

The women’s race was Wednesday. Zubkov says Sergeeva says she took no such medication and the team says she was not issued any medication.

Zubkov did not say which substance was found, saying Russian officials were working to clarify the situation. But he said it was not meldonium, the substance for which Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky was stripped of a bronze medal Thursday.

A Slovenian hockey player and a Japanese speedskater also both left the games after failing tests.

The Russians are competing under the Olympic flag and in neutral uniforms because of doping in Sochi in 2014.


6:55 p.m.

The Swiss men have won curling’s bronze medal, sending Canada to its worst finish ever in the sport.

Switzerland’s team of Peter de Cruz, Benoit Schwarz, Claudio Paetz and Valentin Tanner beat Canada 7-5 on Friday. Schwarz took out two Canadian stones with his last throw of the 10th and final end. With one throw left, Canada could not score the two points it needed to force an extra end.

Canada won the last three gold medals in Olympic men’s curling and had never even failed to reach the gold medal match since the sport was restored to the Olympics in 1998. The Canadian women also failed to medal - the first time they’d missed the podium.

“I know that after results like this, people are going to reflect on what went wrong,” Canadian third Marc Kennedy said. “But at the end of the day, it just comes down to individual performance.”

Canada did win a gold medal in mixed curling, which was added to the Winter Games this year.


6:30 p.m.

Leaders at the U.S. Olympic Committee projected Team USA to win 37 medals at the Pyeongchang Games - a goal the U.S. will not come close to reaching when the Olympics close on Sunday.

The Associated Press obtained a slide that was presented to the USOC board in meetings last year, and used to set expectations and funding levels for the Winter Games.

Heading into the final 48 hours of action, the United States had 21 medals. Even if things were to go well over the handful of remaining events, the team will fall more than 10 medals short of the goal.

Alan Ashley, the USOC’s chief of sport performance, tells AP the team is doing fine. He says another way to view it is the number of close calls America has had at these games. The U.S. has placed fourth or fifth in 21 events.


5:15 p.m.

Ivanka Trump has landed in South Korea to attend this weekend’s closing ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

South Korea is rolling out the red carpet for her first visit since her father, Donald Trump, became U.S. president. Her arrival at the airport Friday was broadcast live on TV.

According to South Korean media reports, Ivanka Trump will have dinner Friday with President Moon Jae-in in a traditional Korean house at Moon’s office.

A North Korean delegation will also attend the closing ceremony, but the South Korean government said it’s unlikely that Ivanka Trump would meet North Koreans or defectors from North Korea.

Hopes are high in South Korea that she may deliver a message from her father on North Korea.


4:30 p.m.

The Russians have come to dominate women’s figure skating and they showed it by sweeping the top two medals at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Even their closest rivals acknowledge how much ground they have to make up. But what’s much more difficult to pin down is whether it’s possible to close the gap and what it will take for someone to rise to the Russians’ level.

Alina Zagitova won individual gold with 239.57 points Friday, beating her training partner and close friend Evgenia Medvedeva by less than two points.

That they would stand on the top two steps of the podium at Gangneung Ice Arena was about as predictable as the sun rising over the nearby Sea of Japan, the only question left being what order they would finish.

Canadian Kaetlyn Osmond put together two clean programs for what she claimed was the first time ever, and she still only managed 231.02 points, leaving her a distant - but quite happy - third.


2:45 p.m.

South Korea’s women’s curling team has become a global sensation. And they don’t even know it.

The team known as the “Garlic Girls” came into the Pyeongchang Games as the underdog who few believed would medal. Now they’re number one in the rankings.

They have earned worldwide attention for their fierce talent and funny personality.

But their coach has shielded them from publicity and the women agreed to turn off their phones before the Games. So they have no idea they’re superstars.

They got their name from their hometown of Uiseong, known for its prolific garlic production.


2 p.m.

Alina Zagitova has won the women’s figure skating competition, becoming the first Russian gold medalist at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The 15-year-old Zagitova edged her friend and training partner Evgenia Medvedeva to end the gold drought for the Olympic Athletes from Russia. That’s the designation given to the nation’s competitors after Russia was officially banned by the IOC for a doping scandal.

Zagitova and Medvedeva tied in the free skate, a rare occurrence, but Zagitova had won the short program Wednesday, so she got gold.

Kaetlyn Osmond has won bronze, giving Canada four overall medals in figure skating.


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