Olympics Live: China pair breaks figure skating world record

BEIJING (AP), -- The latest on the Beijing Winter Olympics

Olympics Live: China pair breaks figure skating world record

BEIJING (AP), -- The latest on the Beijing Winter Olympics

Sui Wenjing of China and Han Cong from China broke their own world record for a brief program at the Beijing Games Friday night. This gave them the narrowest lead over Russian rivals Vladimir Morozov and Evgenia Tarasova heading into the free skating to determine the Olympic champion.

Sui and Han won the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics short program before winning the silver medal. This was a significant improvement on the previous record of 82.83 point for their orchestral suite from "Mission: Impossible 2".

Tarasova, Morozov and Eteri Tutberidze are part of the coaching team. They would also have broken the record using their short program. The fourth-place finishers in Pyeongchang finished 16-hundredths behind. This was due to TV viewers in Europe.

The match will be played at 2.50 p.m., instead of 2.05 p.m. Britain is seven hours ahead of Sweden and Sweden are eight hours behind Beijing. The women's bronze-medal match will take place at 8:05 pm.

The organizers also stated that the men's triumph ceremony will be held at the Ice Cube curling arena, rather than the medals plaza. Canada won bronze against the United States on Friday.

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Russian figure skating coach Eteri Tutberidze was back at the rink for Friday's pairs competition, just hours after Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, criticized her for her insensitive attitude towards Kamila Valieva following the women's free-skate.

Tutberidze is a coach for the Russian pairs team of Aleksandra Borikova, Dmitrii Kozlovskii.

Valieva (15-year-old doping suspect) crashed out of Thursday's women's program with no medal. Tutberidze, who was berating Valieva in Russian as she left the ice, was captured on camera.

Bach did not name Tutberidze, but he did mention Valieva's coaches during Friday's news conference. He said that there was "a tremendous coldness" and it was "chilling to see this."

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Timothy LeDuc, figure skater from the United States, became the first American nonbinary athlete to compete in the Winter Games. He teamed up with Ashley CainGribble to create a strong short program that opened their pairs competition on Friday night.

Their season-best score of 74.13 was impressive and placed them in the top 10 for Saturday's free skating.

LeDuc, 31, was declared nonbinary in 2012. This term refers to a person who doesn't identify as either male or female. It can also include agender bigender and gender-fluid. Quinn, a Canadian women's soccer player, became the first openly transgender athlete to win an Olympic medal. Laurel Hubbard, Alana Smith, a skateboarder, and Chelsea Wolfe were also among the at least 186 openly LGBTQ athletes who participated in the Summer Games.

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Elana Meyers Taylor was selected to again be the flagbearer. This time she will be able to accept the job.

The U.S. Olympic Committee and Paralympic Committee announced Friday that the four-time Olympian bobsledder would carry the American flag to Sunday's closing ceremony at the Beijing Games.

Meyers Taylor was the first woman to compete in the women's Bobsled event. The USOPC announced that Taylor was the flagbearer after she crossed the finish line in the first heat.

Meyers Taylor was selected to be the flagbearer for the U.S. during the opening ceremony on February 4, but she could not participate as she was isolated following a positive COVID-19 testing. Brittany Bowe, speedskater and curler John Shuster was awarded the spot.

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Due to strong winds, the Beijing Olympics' last Alpine skiing race has been moved an hour earlier than originally planned.

The mixed team parallel event will now start at 10 a.m. Saturday Beijing time instead of 11.

The wind speed is expected to exceed 20 mph (30 km/h).

This team event brings together men and women from all participating countries and is American Mikaela Shifrin's last chance to win a medal at the 2022 Winter Games.

The team rosters were released Friday and only one of the 10 Alpine gold medalists was included: Johannes Strolz from Austria. He won the men's mixed last week, and also took home a silver in slalom Wednesday.

The 16-team bracket is limited to 15 countries, so Austria with the highest ranking will be allowed to play in the first round.

The matchups in the first round are USA vs. Slovakia and Switzerland vs. China. Italy vs. Russia. Norway vs. Poland. France vs. Czech Republic. Germany vs. Sweden. Slovenia vs. Canada.

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Johannes Thingnes Boe looked great, dominating the start and maintaining his composure throughout the four shooting stages to win Friday's Olympic gold medal in the biathlon mass-start race.

As he crossed the line in 38 minutes and 14.4 seconds, the Norwegian legend threw his arms up in the air.

Martin Ponsiluoma from Sweden missed only one target during the last shoot and fled the range to chase Boe. Boe was 40.3 seconds ahead of him, and he took silver. Norway's Vetle Sjaastad Christianen shot clear in the last shooting, and took bronze, placing 1:2.5 behind.

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Thomas Krol won gold in the 1,000 meter, making it the third consecutive Olympic speedskating title for the Netherlands.

Krol was timed at 1 minute 7.92 seconds

Laurent Dubreuil, Canada, took silver. Haavard Lorentzen was the 2018 silver medalist.

The Netherlands won its fifth gold medal in Beijing's 12 events, with just one day left of competition.

Stefan Groothuis won in 2014 the 1000, followed by Kjeld Nuis who won 2018.

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Brad Gushue, who won the Olympic curling gold-medal in 1996, is returning to Canada with bronze.

Canadians took advantage of a missed last shot by American John Shuster, the reigning Olympic champion. This turned a one point edge into an unsurmountable 8-5 lead.

Gushue won Turin gold in 2006. He shared the podium with Shuster who won bronze.

The Canadian skip knocked off his American counterpart.

With two points in sixth, the Americans held a lead of 5-4. Canada then scored two points in eighth to take the lead. Shuster attempted to get two Canadian rocks out of the scoring area, but failed.

Gushue was awarded two points. There is still one point left. Canada's third shot cleared all American rocks from the target area. Shuster immediately conceded.

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Justine Braisaz Boutt advanced to the front of the pack with patient shooting, and she stayed there with cross-country skiing to win at the Olympics' women's biathlon mass race.

The field was impacted by bitter winds as they lined up to shoot. Braisaz Boutt missed only one shot in the last standing shooting, and she skied out in first place. She held her ground and crossed the line in 38 minutes, 18 seconds carrying a French flag.

Tiril Eckhoff, Marte Olsbu Roeiseland and their Norwegian counterparts missed two targets in the last bout. They left the range 48 seconds behind the Frenchwoman. Eckhoff pursued hard and crossed for the silver. She was 15.3 seconds behind Braisaz Boutt.

Roeiseland won bronze -- her fifth gold medal at the Beijing Games.

Roeiseland, who is also a biathlete, was the second female or male to win medals in all four events at the Olympics. She matches Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, a Norwegian great. Gold was also awarded to her in the mixed relay.

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Ryan Regez was the winner of the Olympic skicross final at Genting Snow Park with a score of 1-2.

Regez seized the lead quickly and didn't relinquish it on a course full of jumps, bumps, and rolling terrain. Shortly after crossing the finish line, Regez raised his arms in triumph.

Alex Fiva, a 36-year-old Russian athlete, won the silver medal. Sergey Ridzik, a Russian athlete, took the bronze.

Regez was an Alpine skier, and more specifically downhill, his dream job as a child. Regez began a apprenticeship as a structural engineer after that failed. He then discovered skicross.

It paid off in gold.

Simone Deromedis, an Italian skicross racer, won the heat in the small final. He was just coming off his last jump, and he did the splits to finish the race.

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Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, has criticised Kamila Valieva, a Russian figure skater, for her "tremendous coldness," toward the entourage after she made a mistake at the Beijing Olympics.

Bach said it was "chilling" watching on TV. Valieva, who was at the centre of controversy about a positive doping test and finished fourth overall, despite being first in the women’s short program earlier this week.

Although Eteri Tutberidze was not named by the IOC president, he was captured on camera asking Valieva, visibly upset, "Why did it go?" "Why did you stop fighting?"

Bach said, "You could feel this chilling atmosphere from this distance."

Tutberidze's positive test for heart medication will be investigated along with other members of Valieva’s entourage.

Bach claims that Valieva was under immense pressure.

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Eileen Gu won gold in the women’s ski halfpipe final, on a cold and breezy morning. She became the first action-sports competitor to win three medals at the Winter Olympics.

Gu started warm with a score 93.25 for her first run. She then went even higher to score a 95.25 for her second run. After she had won the contest, Gu took a leisurely stroll for her third pass.

American-born, freestyle skier representing China was already a champion in big air.

Canada's Olympic champion Cassie Sharpe finished second, while Rachael Karker took the bronze. Sixth place went to Hanna Faulhaber, a teenage American.

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Francesco Friedrich, a German bobsledder, took part in Friday's final day of training at the Beijing Olympics. This was one day after he suggested he might not go.

Friedrich was the first to sled down the hill for Friday's final training session. This may have been a factor in Friedrich's decision to participate. Friedrich was among the last to take to the ice during Thursday's four-man training. Afterward, the three-time Olympic champion voiced concern about the track conditions.

He probably enjoyed Friday's performance. Friedrich began the day with a time of 58.98 seconds. This was Friedrich's fastest time in five trips on the Yanqing Sliding Center Ice in his four-man sled.

He is the overwhelming favorite to win gold in the four-man event, which starts Saturday.

Some of the top sliders chose to skip Friday's training, including Canadian teammates Justin Kripps, Chris Spring, Germany’s Christoph Hafer, and Oskars Kibermanis, a Latvian veteran. Veteran competitors are not uncommon to skip training sessions in order to save their bodies and sleds during the two-day competition.

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Eileen Gu was the winner of the women's halfpipe final and is now aiming to be the first action-sports athlete in the world to win three medals at the Winter Games.

American-born, freestyle skier representing China has a gold medal from big air and silver from slopestyle.

Gu ran a strong run on a cool and windy day and got a score of 93.25 to lead the race. After the first three runs, Cassie Sharpe of Canada, Olympic champion, is in second place. Rachael Karker was third. Hanna Faulhaber, a teenager from the USA, was fourth.

With an 11 mph wind, the temperature was around 3 degrees Fahrenheit (minus16 Celsius).

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Judges who allowed Kamila Valieva, a Russian figure skater, to compete at the Beijing Olympics in spite of a positive drug test for a banned substance were blamed by anti-doping officials as a "failure for function effectively."

In a 41-page publication, the Court of Arbitration for Sport explained their decision. It cited an "untenable" delay at the Swedish testing laboratory.

This meant Valieva's positive heart medication test was not revealed until the Olympics, even though her urine sample arrived in Stockholm Dec. 29. The COVID-19 pandemic affected the staffing of the lab.

The lawyers said she was infected because her grandfather used the banned heart medication that she tested positive for.

Early Friday saw the full verdict of the judges published. It was hours after Valieva, 15 years old,'s error-filled free-skate had dropped her from the lead and she finished fourth in the Olympic women’s individual event.

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According to the International Testing Agency, Ukrainian bobsledder Lidiia Huno tested positive for anabolic steroids at the Beijing Games.

After competing on Monday, the ITA said she failed a drug screening. She finished 20th in the women's monobob.

Hunko is the third Beijing Olympics athlete to be positive for doping, the second from Ukraine after Valnetyna Kaminska, cross-country skier.

All three ITA cases from Beijing detected a steroid.

According to Hunko's official Beijing Olympics athlete biography, Hunko was second in the 2016 World's Strongest Woman competition.

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