Roundup: Belarussian biathlete wins third gold

Darya Domracheva celebrates her gold in the 12.5k mass start biathlon — her third gold at the Sochi Games.
Odd Anderson/AFP/Getty Images
Darya Domracheva celebrates her gold in the 12.5k mass start biathlon — her third gold at the Sochi Games.

Darya Domracheva is so light-footed on her skis, her rivals have started comparing her with a dancer.

Without losing rhythm, the Belarussian eased to her third victory at the Sochi Games by winning the 12.5-kilometer mass start race Monday, completing an unprecedented haul of three gold medals in women’s biathlon at one Olympics.

‘‘Maybe it’s strange, but I don’t feel like I’ve done something special,’’ Domracheva said. ‘‘I just tried to enjoy myself and I did my race with a laugh. But for sure, it’s amazing.’’


Domracheva is also expected to compete in the mixed and the women’s team relays, but Belarus is not among the favorites for gold in either race.

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High on confidence after wins in the pursuit and individual races last week, Domracheva took the lead after four minutes in Monday’s race and stayed ahead of the field after the first shooting. She missed one target before finishing in 35 minutes, 25.6 seconds.

Gabriela Soukalova of Czech Republic was 20.2 seconds behind for silver and Tiril Eckhoff of Norway finished 27.3 behind for bronze.

‘‘She is amazing,’’ Eckhoff said of Domracheva. ‘‘She skis like a dancer. It’s really deserved, these three golds. She has been amazing here.’’

Kati Wilhelm is the only other woman to win three biathlon golds, but the German collected hers over two Olympics — the sprint and the relay in 2002 and the pursuit in ’06.

Freestyle skiing


Men’s aerials — When it comes to going big when the stakes are large on the Olympic aerials course, nobody’s better than Belarus.

Anton Kushnir stuck a near-perfect landing on his five-twisting jump in the finals to make it 2 for 2 at the Sochi Games for his country, winning the gold medal three nights after Alla Tsuper won gold for Belarus in the women’s contest.

Kushnir did it with the biggest trick going in the game right now — the ‘‘back double full-full-double full,’’ which is five twists packed into three head-over-heels flips while he soars 50 feet off the ramp and into the night sky.

He earned a score of 134.5 for the trick to beat David Morris of Australia by more than 24 points.

A pair of Chinese jumpers, Qi Guangpu and Jia Zongyang, had a chance to better those scores but both fell on their landings.



Men — The curling world has been waiting for years for China’s men’s team to fulfill its rich potential. It just might happen at the Sochi Olympics.

The Chinese finally made a breakthrough at the international level by beating Britain, 6-5, in a winner-takes-all last game of the round robin to reach the semifinals.

China skip Liu Rui, arguably the star player in the tournament so far, thrust his right fist into the air when his rock settled in the button for the winning point in the 10th end.

Given his statistics over the past week in Sochi — he’s shooting at 88 percent accuracy— it was never really in doubt.

The defeat bumped the British into a tiebreaker against Norway, which lost, 5-3, to Denmark to miss out on advancing directly to the playoffs. Sweden and Canada already had qualified on Sunday.

Canada will play China in the semifinals and Sweden will take on the winner of the tiebreaker.

Also Monday, Germany lost, 8-7, to Russia to finish in last place at 1-8. Switzerland defeated the United States, 6-3.

Women — Switzerland and Britain advanced to the semifinals, and Canada became the first team to complete the round-robin matches without a loss.

The Swiss beat China, 10-6, to qualify in third place behind Canada and Sweden, who reached the playoffs Sunday. Britain lost, 8-7, to Denmark in an extra end, but a 9-6 win over Russia earlier Monday helped the world champions claim the other semifinal berth.

It was a bittersweet night for the British — the loss to Denmark means they will have to beat Canada to reach the gold-medal match. And Canada will be the favorite, having finished undefeated with a 9-4 win over South Korea.

The United States (1-8) finished last for the second straight Olympic Games after losing, 11-2, to South Korea.

“This team is a better team than our performances this week,’’ said US curler Ann Swisshelm, who had tears in her eyes as she left the ice. ‘‘That’s pretty heartbreaking.’’

Ski jumping

Men’s team — Germany took the lead with one group to go and edged Austria into second place to win the team gold on the large hill.

It ended Austria’s incredible winning streak in the event — it had won gold in the last two Olympics and hadn’t lost a team large hill event since the 2005 World Championships.

Germany, represented by Andreas Wank, Marinus Kraus, Andres Wellinger, and Severin Freund, won its third gold in the event. Freund’s final jump gave Germany the win by 2.7 points.

Austria was represented by Michael Hayboeck, Thomas Morgenstern, Thomas Diethart, and Gregor Schlierenzauer.

Japan, with Reruhi Shimizu, Taku Takeuchi, Daiki Ito, and large hill silver medalist Noriaki Kasai, earned the bronze.