Olympics Live: Shaun White News, Event Results and Updates

PictureTherese Johaug of Norway after winning the 15-kilometer women’s skiathlon cross-country race at the National Cross-Country Center in Zhangjiakou.
Credit score…Doug Mills/The New York Instances

Therese Johaug of Norway gained the primary gold medal of the Beijing Video games on Saturday, dominating the 15-kilometer skiathlon after opening a commanding lead halfway via the race that determines the world’s greatest all-around skier.

The 33-year-old Johaug, a 14-time world champion and three-time Olympic medalist, left the sector behind after the primary half of the race, which is skied half within the “classical” up-and-down snowboarding model and half within the less-regimented “skating” model.

The World Cup chief, Natalya Nepryayeva of Russia, held off Teresa Stadlober of Austria in an in depth battle for silver and bronze. Nepryayeva edged Stadlober, a shock medalist, by three-tenths of a second, however each completed greater than 30 seconds behind Johaug, whose successful time was 44 minutes 13.7 seconds.

The race was held within the frigid, blustery circumstances of the Zhangjiakou Nationwide Cross Nation Snowboarding Heart, on a day so chilly that dozens of skiers competed sporting hats and facemasks and tape on their cheeks to stop windburn, a rarity in a sport that includes a lot exertion.

The American Jessie Diggins, a hero of the 2018 Video games after her dramatic closing leg delivered gold within the ladies’s workforce dash — “They’ve given it everything on the Klaebo bakken!” — completed sixth, practically a minute behind Johaug.

“A very promising begin,” stated Diggins, whose specialty is the dash races and who would have been a shock medalist in a race that required a lot classical snowboarding, her weaker model.

The frigid temperatures and gusty winds made for brutal racing circumstances. Hailey Swirbul, one other American, stated one gust of wind practically introduced her to an entire cease.

The gold is Johaug’s second in an Olympic race, becoming a member of a group that features a relay gold from the 2010 Vancouver Video games and a silver and bronze from Sochi in 2014.


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She missed the 2018 Pyeongchang Video games, nevertheless, whereas serving a doping suspension for testing constructive for a banned steroid in 2016. Johaug and Norwegian snowboarding officers blamed the outcome on a workforce physician’s mistake, claiming he had unintentionally given her the substance that was contained in a lip balm.

However the worldwide ski federation pressed for an extended ban, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport agreed, extending her suspension to 18 months.

Diggins, the American star, had wished to kick off the Olympics in grand model, however she couldn’t match the facility of Johaug and a clump of different European skiers throughout the classical first half of the race. 4 years in the past, Diggins and her former teammate Kikkan Randall turned the primary People to win gold in cross nation, and the primary People to win a cross-country medal since 1976.

Since that victory, Diggins has develop into one of the crucial feared skiers on this planet, a wiry spark plug with seemingly limitless reserves of power that pressure her opponents into submission and propel her to the end when a race is on the road.

Skiathlon is a singular check, although, because it requires skiers to excel at each classical model snowboarding, during which the skis stay in a straight line, and freestyle, or skate snowboarding, a movement that’s much like ice skating.

It’s an occasion that has all the time confirmed powerful for American skiers, most of whom develop up snowboarding freestyle after which learn to ski classical once they become old and start to compete. European skiers are way more more likely to have been launched to classical model snowboarding at a younger age.

Diggins has spent numerous hours throughout the previous 4 years making an attempt to enhance her efficiency in classical. The efforts helped result in her changing into the primary American lady to win the distinguished Tour de Ski in 2021, a multidisciplinary, eight-stage race that takes place in three venues in a number of nations over 10 days.

She can have a number of extra probabilities to medal in Beijing, particularly within the particular person dash, scheduled for Tuesday.

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