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    Andre Myhrer unlikely champion in slalom

    SOUTH KOREA OUT Mandatory Credit: Photo by YONHAP/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (9434462b) Andre Myhrer of Sweden in action during the Men's Slalom at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre during the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games, South Korea, 22 February 2018. Alpine Skiing - PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games, Daegwallyeong-Myeon, Korea - 22 Feb 2018
    Andre Myhrer of Sweden races in the men’s slalom at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre.

    The shock wasn’t only about who won the Olympic gold medal in the men’s slalom, it was also about who failed to even finish the race.

    Andre Myhrer, a 35-year-old Swede who took bronze in the event eight years ago in Vancouver, was the unlikely champion on Thursday in PyeongChang. But it was Marcel Hirscher and Henrik Kristoffersen — the best slalom skiers on the World Cup circuit — who couldn’t complete two runs to give themselves a chance at the title.

    ‘‘To be able to do this after the season they have had is, of course, amazing for me,’’ Myhrer said.


    Austria’s Hirscher skied off course in the opening run, while Kristoffersen set the fastest time. But the Norwegian couldn’t make it all the way down the piste on the second run, leaving Myhrer at the top of the podium.

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    Both Hirscher and Kristoffersen won Olympic medals in this event four years ago in Sochi. They also combined for 1-2 finishes in four of the eight World Cup slaloms this season.

    Myhrer watched in the finish area as Kristoffersen, holding a 0.21-second advantage out of the starting gate, skied out early in the second run.

    That allowed Ramon Zenhaeusern of Switzerland to take an unexpected silver medal, 0.34 seconds behind Myhrer’s two-run time of 1 minute, 38.99 seconds. Bronze medalist Michael Matt of Austria was 0.67 back.

    Hirscher fell short in his quest for a third gold medal at these Olympics. The Austrian great also won the combined event and the giant slalom, when Kristoffersen took silver.


    ‘‘I had already really a bad feeling about the whole situation,’’ Hirscher said, adding he has had some ‘‘really bad training days here.’’

    Myhrer became the second 35-year-old Alpine skier to take gold at the Pyeongchang Games. Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway, barely two weeks older than Myhrer, won the downhill and set a record as the sport’s oldest male Olympic champion.

    Thursday’s victory is a remarkable turnaround for Myhrer, who left the 2014 Sochi Olympics furious after giving up his chance at a medal on a difficult course. “I couldn’t really handle it with the condition I had with my [injured] knee,’’ he said.

    The veteran of four Olympics and more than 14 years of World Cup racing handled it better on Thursday, even as more than half of the 106-man lineup joined Hirscher in failing to finish the first run.

    Men’s Nordic combined team event (large hill) — Johannes Rydzek crossed the finish line with an overwhelming 52.7-second advantage and Germany won its 13th gold medal of these Games, tying it with Norway for the overall lead.


    Second after the ski jumping stage, Germany wasted little time in taking the lead in the 4 x 5-kilometer cross-country relay race. Vinzenz Geiger erased a six-second deficit for a comfortable 12-second advantage after the first leg, and any doubt about the winner was erased when Fabian Riessle widened the lead to 44 seconds before handing off to Eric Frenzel.

    Skiing alone on the cross-country course at Alpensia Ski Jumping Center, Rydzek was handed a German flag at the last turn and was mobbed by his teammates as he crossed the finish line. It’s the second gold medal for both Frenzel and Rydzek in PyeongChang.

    Defending champion Norway was second, followed by Austria, which was first after the ski jump.

    Men’s short-track speedskating 500 meters — Wu Dajing claimed China’s first Olympic gold in the sprint race, winning in 39.584 seconds to break the world record he had set in the quarterfinals.

    South Koreans Hwang Dae-heon (39.854) and Lim Hyo-jun (39.919) won silver and bronze. Lim earlier won the 1,500, making him the only man to win multiple individual short-track medals at these Games.

    Men’s short-track speedskating 5,000-meter relay — Hungary won its first Winter Olympic gold medal — and first of any kind in short track — by taking the lead on the last lap of the 45-lap race.

    The team of brothers Liu Shaoang and Liu Shaolin Sandor, along with Viktor Knoch and Csaba Burjan, set an Olympic record of 6 minutes, 31.971 seconds. China took silver and Canada earned bronze with a team that included Samuel Girard and veteran Charles Hamelin skating in his final Olympics.

    Hungary had previously earned six medals — all in figure skating and none since 1980 — at the Winter Games.

    The US team of J.R. Celski, John-Henry Krueger, Thomas Hong, and Aaron Tran won the B relay final. Kruger’s silver in the 1,500 was the only American short-track medal, equaling the US’ showing from four years ago in Sochi.

    Women’s short-track speedskating 1,000 meters — Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands pulled off an upset, giving the country better known for its long-track success a fourth medal in short track. Schulting crossed the line in 1:29.778.

    Kim Boutin of Canada (1:29.956) took silver for her third medal of the games. Arianna Fontana (1:30.656) earned bronze, giving the Italian a complete set of hardware to go with gold in the 500 and silver in the 3,000 relay.

    Fontana joined American Apolo Anton Ohno and Viktor Ahn of Russia as the most decorated short-track Olympians with eight career medals in the rough-and-tumble sport.

    Women’s biathlon 4 x 6-kilometer relay — Darya Domracheva led Belarus to its second gold medal of these Games, winning her fourth overall. She teamed with Nadezhda Skardino, Iryna Kryoko, and Dzinara Alimbekava to win the race in 1 hour, 12 minutes, 3.4 seconds.

    Sweden rallied from nearly one minute behind early in the race to take silver, and France took bronze on a windy day at the Alpensia Biathlon Center.

    The United States was in contention for its first biathlon medal until the final leg, but finished a distant 13th.

    Women’s skicross — Canada’s Kelsey Serwa has raced to victory in women’s skicross, giving her a gold medal to go with the silver she won in Sochi four years ago.

    Serwa raced to the lead early in the final and was well in front by the time she reached the bottom of the course at Phoenix Snow Park. Canadian teammate Brittany Phelan made an impressive pass late in the run to finish second.

    Serwa’s victory came two days after Canada’s Brady Leman took gold in the men’s event.

    Switzerland’s Fanny Smith held off Sweden’s Sandra Naeslund for bronze.

    Women’s snowboarding Big Air — Anna Gasser of Austria stomped a ‘‘cab double 10’’ — basically, two flips and three full rotations — in her final jump to slip past American star Jamie Anderson and claim gold in the Olympic debut of women’s Big Air.

    Gasser’s score of 96 was the highest of the day and boosted her two-jump total to 185.00. Anderson took silver at 177.25, with Zoi Sadowski-Synnott of New Zealand third at 157.50.

    Anderson threw down a 1080 and a cab 900 to lead through two jumps but overshot the landing a bit while trying to nail a cab 10 on her third. That left an opening that Gasser, who earned the right to go last after topping qualifying on Tuesday, sprinted through.

    Anderson became the third snowboarder with three Olympic medals, joining Americans Shaun White and Kelly Clark. She won gold here in slopestyle.

    Men’s freestyle skiing halfpipe — American David Wise put down the most difficult, technically precise run ever seen in the sport of halfpipe skiing, scoring a 97.2 to edge out Olympic roommate and fellow American Alex Ferreira by 0.8 points to win his second straight Olympic gold medal.

    After one-third of the 12 skiers limped off with injuries, Wise faced an all-or-nothing run after his ski bindings had failed him in his two previous trips down.

    ‘‘We cranked my bindings up as high as they would go,’’ Wise said. ‘‘We’re like, ‘You know what, my leg’s coming off before the ski does.'’’

    As the gold medalist and leader of his sport, Wise set out on a plan to become the first halfpipe freeskier to put down double corks — two head-over-heels flips — in all four directions on the same run: forward spinning right; forward spinning left; backward spinning right; backward spinning left. He made it look effortless, but it isn't.

    Nico Porteous of New Zealand won the bronze with a score of 94.8.