PyeongChang 2018 Day Nine recap: Hirscher and Fourcade double their gold medal tallies

Marcel Hirscher and Martin Fourcade each claimed their second gold medals in South Korea

PyeongChang 2018 Day Nine recap: Hirscher and Fourcade double their gold medal tallies
Martin Fourcade celebrates winning his second gold of PyeongChang 2018 (Image source: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

On the middle Sunday of the 2018 Winter Olympics, a pair of world-class winter athletes struck gold for the second time in PyeongChang

Hirscher in a class of his own to grab GS gold

In the men's alpine skiing, Marcel Hirscher of Austria followed on from the combined gold he won earlier in the week, by claiming victory in the giant slalom by a whopping 1.27 seconds. The winning margin was the largest in this event for 50 years, and would have been more if it wasn't for a second run surge by silver medalist Henrik Kristoffersen

Having built a lead of 0.63 seconds over eventual bronze medalist Alexis Pinturault at the end of the first run, Hirscher's gold was only in doubt if the 28-year-old had missed a gate on his way down the Yongpyong mountain.

Hirscher celebrates winning giant slalom gold (image source: Al Bello via Getty Images)

The Austrians supremacy was never in doubt however, and he produced the second fastest time of the second run to pick up gold by a distance. 

Kristoffersen's silver was similarly remarkable, and after placing 10th at the end of the first run the Norwegian was very much up against it. However, the 23-year-old doubled his Olympic medal tally and producing a fine second run to overtake eight skiers, four of which were Frenchman. 

Hirscher will be favourite for Thursday's slalom event as he goes in search of his third gold of these games, but the confidence gained by Kristoffersen will stand him in good stead for the race at the end of the week. 

Fourcade gets better of Schempp in Mass Start photo finish

In the final individual race of the biathlon programme, Martin Fourcade edged out Simon Schempp of Germany to take gold in the men's 15km mass start. After grabbing gold in the pursuit earlier in the week, Fourcade then fluffed his lines in the individual event and had a point to prove. 

Fourcade's main rival Johannes Thingnes Boe missed a pair of targets at the first shoot of the evening which ended his hopes of a medal, but the four German's showed supreme nerve at the range to maintain a strong presence in the lead group. 

Heading towards the final standing shoot of the race, none of the top three who had built a substantial lead could hit five out of five, but Fourcade and Schempp hit four to Erik Lesser's three which meant they would race for gold. 

Fourcade dips for gold (image source: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Schempp is World Champion in this discipline and managed to stick with the Frenchman over the final lap, which set up a thrilling sprint finish. Both men lunged for gold, and it was Fourcade who managed to dip his foot over the line first to bag his second gold of the week, with Schempp forced to take silver ahead of Norway's flag-carrier Emil Hegle Svendsen who claimed bronze. 

Freestyle skiing took centre stage on day nine, with Ukrainian Oleksandr Abramenko winning the men's aerials, and Norway's Oystein Braaten scoring 95/100 on his first run to take top spot in the ski slopestyle final. 

Nao Kodaira of Japan sprinted to gold in the women's 500m speed skating and in the men's 4x10km cross-country relay, the team of Didrik Tonseth, Martin Johnsrud Sundby, Simen Hegstad Krüger and Johannes Høsflot Klæbo led Norway to a ninth gold of these games. 

Johannes Høsflot Klæbo carries the Norwegian flag across the finish line (image source: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)