With the wind finally holding off enough to allow for the Alpine programme in PyeongChang to begin, Marcel Hirscher finally added an Olympic gold to his CV following victory in the Combined competition.
The Austrian, who has 55 World Cup wins to his name, was the second man down the mountain during the downhill half of the competition, and produced a time of 1:20.56 to put himself in perfect position to pounce ahead of his speciality, the slalom.
Many of the downhill specialists used this event as a practice run ahead of the rearranged downhill race on Thursday, with Thomas Dressen fastest down the mountain in a time of 1:19.24.
Hirscher had some of the toughest conditions during his slalom run, but he mastered the course to post a combined time of 2:06.52 which wasn’t to be beaten. The French duo of Alexis Pinturault and Victor Muffat-Jeandet joined Hirscher on the podium, with Dressen dropping from first to ninth at the end of the slalom leg.
17-year-old Kim thrills in halfpipe final to land gold
One of the new sensations who has been unearthed at these Olympics is young American snowboarder Chloe Kim.
A multiple X-Games champion, Kim headed to PyeongChang as heavy favourite in the halfpipe event, and after qualifying with the two highest scores, the 17-year-old held that form through into the final to hit scores of 93.75 and 98.25 out of 100 during the final.
Her final run of 98.25 came after she had already gained the gold, and included a double 1080 trick, with China’s Liu Jiayu finishing in silver medal position eight points behind following a best score of 89.75.
In qualifying for the men’s final, Shaun White posted the top score on his way to the number one seed, with the medals decided on Wednesday morning in Korea.
Klaebo & Nilsson sprint to Cross-Country titles on strong day for European athletes
Over at the Alpensia Cross-Country Centre, finalists had to go through two rounds of races and a time-trial before reaching the final six of the Sprint event.
In the women’s competition, Stina Nilsson was the class turn, qualifying fastest, before winning her quarter, semi and then final to grab gold, while Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo of Norway saved his best for the final, putting distance between himself and his rivals on the penultimate climb to win in a time of 3:05.75.
Three other European nations also struck gold on day four, with Italy’s Arianna Fontana taking advantage of a fall from Elise Christie and a disqualification to Korea’s Choi Minjeong to win a dramatic 500m final in the short-track speed skating.
Kjeld Nuis became the latest Dutch speed skater to claim victory at the Gangneung Ice Arena, winning the 1500m event ahead of teammate Patrick Roest, while over at the sliding centre, it was Germany who claimed a 1-2 in the women’s Luge with Natalie Geisenberger topping the team sheets after the four runs to finish 0.367 seconds clear of Dajana Eitberger.
Tuesday also saw the denouement of the first ever mixed doubles Curling event, and the Canadian duo of Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris won the gold medal match 10-3 over the Swiss team of Jenny Perret and Martin Rios.