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Mon. 10:05 a.m.: The Latest on the Beijing Winter Olympics


China’s Xu Mengtao competes during the women’s aerials finals at the 2022 Winter Olympics today in Zhangjiakou, China. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

(AP) – Austria has won Olympic gold in the ski jumping team event at the Beijing Games.

Manuel Fettner jumped 128 meters (420 feet) Monday on his final jump to seal the first-place finish.

The team of Fettner, Stefan Kraft, Daniel Huber and Jan Hoerl combined to score 942.7 points, beating Slovenia by 8.3 points with a combination of jaw-dropping distances and style that impressed the judges.

The Slovenians earned silver and Germany won bronze.

Slovenia went into the final round with a nine-point lead over Austria. Norway, Germany, Japan and Poland followed after the first round in the last ski jumping event of the 2022 Olympics, but they couldn’t keep up with the top two nations.

Germany’s result was particularly impressive because the team didn’t have one of the best — two-time gold medalist Andreas Wellinger, in their lineup because he tested positive for COVID-19.

Men have been ski jumping at the Winter Olympics since the first edition in 1924, and have had an opportunity to compete as teams since 1988.

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Xu Mengtao of China landed a jump with three somersaults to win Olympic gold in women’s aerials on a frigid evening.

Xu becomes the first woman from China to win the Olympic ski aerials event. She instantly knew her run was a gold-medal worthy jump, too, pointing up at the sky soon after landing.

She later leaned back and screamed into the cold air as the temperature hovered around minus-10 (minus-23 Celsius). Xu scored a 108.61 to edge defending champion Hanna Huskova of Belarus. American Megan Nick was a surprise bronze medalist, holding off teammate Ashley Caldwell.

The 28-year-old Caldwell was the last to go after posting the highest score over the first two jumps of the final, which trimmed the field to six. She hit her back on the snow while landing her final jump.

Caldwell won a gold medal last week in the Olympic debut of mixed team aerials.

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The International Olympic Committee says there will be no medal ceremony in Beijing if 15-year-old Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva places in the top three in the women’s individual event.

There will also be no medal ceremony for the team event, where Russia won gold a week ago with help from Valieva. The U.S. won silver and Japan won bronze.

Valieva was cleared today by Court of Arbitration for Sport judges to compete starting Tuesday, despite failing a drug test ahead of the Olympics.

But a separate investigation of that possible doping offense must be done in Russia and could take several months to resolve.

In the meantime, if Valieva wins an individual medal when the competition concludes Thursday, there won’t be even a flower ceremony on the ice.

The IOC says its executive board decided “in the interest of fairness to all athletes” not to award medals this week.

It will “organize dignified medal ceremonies once the case of Ms. Valieva has been concluded.”

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Nordic combined star Jarl Magnus Riiber of Norway has tested negative for COVID-19, leaving open the chance of him competing at the Beijing Games. The three-time world champion was in isolation for more than 10 days.

Nordic combined has two medal events left on Tuesday and Thursday. Four of the top seven athletes in the sport, which combines ski jumping and a cross-country ski race, missed the first event last Wednesday. Germany’s Vinzenz Geiger won.

Estonia’s Kristjan Ilves was released from isolation after 11 days on Saturday and has been training to compete.

Germany, meanwhile, has ruled out Terence Weber and says Manuel Faisst traveled to China to potentially replace him in its Nordic combined lineup. The team is still holding out hope that three-time Olympic gold medalist Eric Frenzel will be cleared to compete in Beijing.

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American freestyle skier Marin Hamill won’t compete in the slopestyle final after hurting her right leg in a crash during qualifying. She’s headed back to the United State for further evaluation, the team announced.

Hamill, a 20-year-old from Utah, earned a spot in the final with her score of 69.43 on her first run through a course filled with rails and jumps.

She was finishing her final run when she crashed on the last jump. Hamill slid to the bottom of the hill and was treated by medical personnel. She was taken off the course in a sled and placed into an ambulance.

Hamill was second in a World Cup skiing slopestyle competition in France last month.

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A Norwegian biathlete who collapsed after crossing the finish line in the women’s 10-kilometer pursuit race will be heading home instead of competing again at the Beijing Olympics.

Ingrid Landmakr Tandrevold, who said she has had heart issues in the past, was in position to win a medal at the end of Sunday’s race. But she stalled as she approached the line and then fell to the ground after crossing it. She ended up finishing 14th.

Dropping to the ground at the end of a biathlon race is common for skiers who push themselves on the ski tracks and shooting range, but several other competitors noticed that Tandrevold appeared to be in trouble and alerted medical staff.

Today, Tandrevold said she is feeling better but is done with competing for now. She says she needs to be careful because of her past heart issues.

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The World Anti-Doping Agency suggests officials in Russia are at least partly to blame for the six-week wait to produce a doping test result for figure skater Kamila Valieva.

Court of Arbitration for Sport judges have cleared Valieva to continue skating at the Beijing Olympics. One reason cited was “serious issues” with the time between when Valieva took the test and when the sample was flagged.

Valieva’s urine sample was taken Dec. 25 in St. Petersburg by Russia’s anti-doping agency and sent to a laboratory in Stockholm, Sweden. That laboratory flagged the result just a week ago, hours after Valieva helped the Russians win team gold in Beijing.

WADA says it expects bodies like Russian agency RUSADA to tell labs when faster testing is needed ahead of major championships like the Olympics, which it says didn’t happen in this case.

Though Valieva can skate in Beijing, a separate longer-term investigation of the doping case by RUSADA could yet result in a ban and disqualification from the Olympics.

WADA can appeal against the eventual Russian ruling if it thinks a stricter punishment is needed.

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Mikaela Shiffrin has confirmed that she will race a downhill at the Winter Olympics for the first time Tuesday.

She says she’s changing how she thinks about what is at stake as she prepares for her fourth event in Beijing.

She finished a second training session at the Yanqing Alpine Skiing Center with the 15th-fastest time among the women who didn’t miss a gate.

The two-time gold medalist in Alpine skiing did not finish her opening runs in either of her initial two events, the two-leg giant slalom and slalom, before coming in ninth in the super-G, another race she hadn’t previously entered at an Olympics.

As someone who specialized in the technical disciplines of slalom and giant slalom, the speed events of downhill and super-G are still new and works-in-progress for Shiffrin.

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Reigning Olympic gold medalist Sebastien Toutant of Canada crashed hard during qualifying at men’s snowboarding big air and won’t defend his title.

Toutant needed to land a big trick on his third run to crack the top 12, but he slammed into the icy landing attempting a triple cork 1620 — three off-axis flips with 4 1/2 rotations.

The 29-year-old fell on his back, and his head whipped back hard enough to knock his goggles off entirely. He remained down for several minutes before being helped up and walking away.

Max Parrot, the Canadian who took gold in slopestyle last week, leads after qualifying, followed by Japan’s Takeru Otsuka and American Red Gerard, who won gold at slopestyle in 2018.





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