Goggia gets gold; Bjoergen sets Winter Games medals mark

Goggia gets gold; Bjoergen sets Winter Games medals mark

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea /February 21, 2018 (AP)(STL.News) —Sofia Goggia refused to let Lindsey Vonn catch her. Or, anyone else.

The Italian skier won the women’s downhill Wednesday , holding off Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway by 0.09 seconds and Vonn by 0.47 seconds.

“I was really focused — I moved like a samurai,” Goggia said. “Usually, I’m really chaotic, but I wanted to take in every little detail, every particular in the morning. I believed in myself. And then what counts, counts.”

Speaking of counting, Marit Bjoergen has had to do plenty of it during her Olympic career. She became the most-decorated Winter Olympian of all time with 14 career medals, getting the latest when Norway won the bronze in the women’s team sprint in cross-country skiing .

“When you’re still an athlete you just have focus on other races,” Bjoergen said. “I think I’ll need to have time to myself and look behind me and look how I’ve been able to do this. It’s still hard to understand it when I’m standing here.”

While Bjoergen’s milestone was the highlight, the United States’ victory in the event was its first Olympic gold in women’s cross-country skiing.

Norway won the men’s sprint, giving the country its 13th cross-country medal at the games to tie an Olympic record.

Meanwhile, the Russian athletes at the Pyeongchang Games are still sitting at zero in the gold medals column. But that number could change soon.

Teen figure skaters Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva were in first and second place , respectively, in the women’s short program after earning the highest scores ever. That leaves them both in good position to come up with gold heading into the free skate Friday.

“I was very happy when I saw the score, but I did not expect it,” said the 15-year-old Zagitova, who had 82.92 points. “Now my name will be connected to that record.”

Brady Leman of Canada won the men’s skicross , beating Marc Bischofberger of Switzerland in a wild final — after some scary elimination rounds during which a handful of crashes forced several men to leave the course on medical sleds.

Other events in which medals were scheduled to be awarded included: women’s bobsled and men’s and women’s team pursuit speed skating.

Finland won the bronze in women’s hockey with a 3-2 victory over the Russian team. The gold-medal game between the United States and Canada is Thursday.

At Jeongseon Alpine Center, Goggia was behind on the leaderboard at the top, but sped up near the bottom of the hill. It was enough to keep Vonn just out of reach when she raced two spots later.

“I gave it all today, skied a great race,” Vonn said. “Sofia just skied better than I did.”

Goggia had never won gold at an Olympics or a world championship, but has four World Cup wins — including two at this venue.

Meanwhile, the 33-year-old Vonn likely completed her final Olympic downhill race. She will compete Thursday in the combined, along with American teammate Mikaela Shiffrin, and that will be her last race in Pyeongchang.

“It’s sad,” Vonn said. “It’s my last downhill. I wish I could keep going. I’m having so much fun and I love what I do, but my body just can’t take another four years. But I’m proud to be competing for my country, giving it all and proud to come away with a medal.”


Unless another Russian athlete beats them to it, Zagitova and Medvedeva have the first gold for the team in their sights.

The 18-year-old Medvedeva posted a short-lived record score of 81.61 — despite not being completely happy.

“I’m satisfied with my performance today. It was not my best, but it was OK,” she said. “All the battle is still ahead.”

And, three skaters later, Zagitova broke the mark by completing a difficult program that included a triple lutz-triple loop combination.

“I didn’t even really think that I would be here competing at the Olympic Games,” Zagitova said. “If someone had told me that two or three years ago or even one year ago, I would have been very surprised.”

Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada was third with 78.87 points.


Jessica Diggins passed the Swedes and the Norwegians on the final lap in the women’s team sprint to give the U.S. an upset victory.

“It feels unreal,” Diggins said. “I can’t believe it just happened.”

Sweden took silver, while Bjoergen and teammate Maiken Caspersen Falla finished third. Bjoergen broke a tie with Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjourndalen for the most medals ever. The 37-year-old Norwegian has seven career golds, four silvers and three bronze medals.

In the men’s sprint, Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo and Martin Johnsrud Sundby helped Norway to the gold. A team of Russians won silver, and France took bronze.

It was the third gold for Klaebo, who tied French biathlete Martin Fourcade for the most at the Pyeongchang Games. The 21-year-old Klaebo also became the fourth male athlete to win three golds at the Winter Games before turning 22.


At Phoenix Snow Park, Leman took an early lead during the last round, but then needed to hold off Bischofberger in what became a two-man competition when Kevin Drury of Canada and Russian athlete Sergey Ridzik collided early.

“I knew I had it just over the last jump,” Leman said. “I really tried to keep my feet on the gas all the way down.”

In the worst crash of the day, Canadian skier Chris Del Bosco lost control in midair late in the run and the right side of his body slammed hard into the snow. He lay motionless for several minutes before emergency personnel carefully placed him on the sled. There was no immediate update on the extent of the 35-year-old Del Bosco’s injuries.


Noora Raty made 20 saves, and Petra Nieminen, Susanna Tapani and Linda Valimaki scored in Finland’s victory over the Russians.

In men’s quarterfinal action, Pavel Francouz stopped all five shooters and Petr Kouka scored the shootout winner as the Czech Republic eliminated the United States with a 3-2 victory.


By DENNIS WASZAK Jr., AP Sports Writer,  By Associated Press – published on STL.News by St. Louis Media, LLC (A.S)