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1ST LEAD Hirscher takes first alpine gold but Games sees first doping case By Barry Whelan, dpa

Europe, Europa
13.02.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Pyeongchang, South Korea (dpa) - Austrian great Marcel Hirscher triumphed in the first alpine skiing event of the Winter Olympics on Tuesday but Pyeongchang also saw its first positive doping test so far.

Japanese short-track speed skater Kei Saito tested positive in an out-of-competition test for the diuretic and masking agent acetalozamide.

The 21-year-old had not yet competed and "accepted on a voluntary basis to be provisionally suspended and to leave the Olympic Village," the Court of Arbitration for Sport said in a statement.

Alpine skiing finally got under way after two days of cancellations due to wind, and Hirscher took his chance in the men‘s combined to win his first-ever Olympic gold, despite the 28-year-old being six-time overall World Cup champion.

"Everyone is saying, ‘Nice career, but an Olympic gold medal is still missing.‘ This is perfect, unbelievable," he told reporters.

Temperatures and wind conditions were much more bearable for competitors and spectators after days of weather problems in South Korea.

Some athletes complained that Monday‘s women‘s snowboard slopestyle final should not have gone ahead in potentially dangerous winds but there were no such issues in Tuesday‘s halfpipe.

Chloe Kim - just 17 - claimed victory at her debut Games to seal the third snowboard gold medal in three days for the United States.

The Dutch continued their domination of the speed skating with Kjeld Nuis winning gold in the men‘s 1,500 metres. Nuis broke the track record at the same Gangneung Oval where he won the world title last year.

Speed skaters from the Netherlands have won all four golds on offer so far but Chinese hegemony in short track is over after Italy‘s Anna Fontana reigned supreme in the 500 metres.

Natalie Geisenberger re-established Germany‘s supremacy in the luge by winning her second straight Olympic title, two days after Felix Loch‘s shock loss in the men‘s event.

Norway‘s Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo became the youngest Olympic champion in men‘s cross-country skiing with sprint gold while Sweden made it two golds out of two in women‘s cross-country when Stina Nilsson prevailed in her sprint race.

Canadian duo Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris bagged the first-ever Olympic gold in mixed doubles curling, defeating Switzerland, with Russian husband-and-wife duo Alexandr Krushelnitckii and Anastasia Bryzgalova winning bronze.

Meanwhile the number of people infected with the norovirus near Winter Olympics venues has risen to 199 but the rate of increase is now slowing.

And there was good news for spectators with Games bosses announcing that visitors arriving in the evening at the Olympic Park will now be able to enter for free instead of paying a small charge.

Organizers acted after low attendances for medal ceremonies so far.

Wednesday‘s highlights include the men‘s snowboard halfpipe and the alpine skiing women‘s slalom.

 

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