Winter Olympics: Ledecka on course for another double gold as Gu rises to the occasion

By Sports Desk February 08, 2022 1172

Tuesday brought more enthralling action from Beijing, with Olympic records broken and one athlete on the verge of repeating a historic feat.

Ester Ledecka became the first female athlete to claim gold in two separate sports at the same Winter Games back in 2018, and the Czech is out to repeat that achievement this time around.

She is now halfway there, having won the women's parallel giant slalom at Genting Snow Park.

Teenage sensation Eileen Gu was also among the winners on day four, while Canada's women beat the United States 4-2 in the ice hockey, in what many view as a possible dress rehearsal for the final, and Italy defeated Norway to take gold in the mixed doubles curling final.

Ledecka on the brink of double glory

Ledecka clinched gold ahead of Austria's Daniela Ulbing. However, she does not have much time to celebrate, as her focus will now switch from snowboarding to going for the top prize in alpine skiing in three days' time.

"Part of my head is still racing right now on that course," Ledecka said. "The other side of my head is already trying to get through the lines on the skiing course. And then a small part is celebrating the win."

Slovenia's Gloria Kotnik took bronze, finishing on the podium for the first time in a career that has spanned 137 world cup events, 14 world championships and three Olympic Games.

Austria's Benjamin Karl took gold in the men's event. The 36-year-old, who is a five-time world champion, took bronze in the parallel slalom in Sochi and silver in the parallel giant slalom in Pyeongchang, making him the first snowboarder to have a complete set of Olympic medals.

Gu lives up to the billing

Gu had already made several headlines before Beijing 2022 had even begun. The 18-year-old Californian delighted China when she decided to represent the country of her mother's birth instead of the United States.

Nicknamed the "Snow Princess", Gu won two gold medals at both the Winter X Games 2021 and the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships, and on Tuesday came first in the big air freestyle final.

"That was the happiest moment, day, whatever – of my life," said Gu, who landed a perfect left double cork 1620 jump for the first time in competition.

"Even if I didn't land it, I felt it would send a message out to the world and hopefully encourage more girls to break their own boundaries," the teenager added. 

Olympic record smashed

The Olympic record in the men's 1500m speed skating was broken twice over, as Kjeld Nuis defended his title from 2018 in emphatic style.

Dutchman Nuis now has three golds to his name, having also won the 1000m race in Pyeongchang, and has become the fourth man to win the 1500m twice.

Nuis and his compatriot Thomas Krol, who took silver, both broke the Olympic record of 1:43.95, which had stood for 20 years, with Nuis recording a time of 1:43.21.

In the cross-country skiing, Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo dominated as he took home gold in the men's sprint free event. He won three gold medals in Pyeongchang and is a two-time defending world champion.

Sweden enjoyed success in the women's equivalent, with world champion Jonna Sundling and Maja Dahlqvist completing a one-two.

Three in a row for Geisenberger

Natalie Geisenberger is the first female luge athlete to win gold for the third straight Olympic Games, as she triumphed with a combined time of 3:53.454.

Geisenberger's time was just under half-a-second quicker than her fellow German Anna Berreiter, who claimed silver, with Tayana Ivanova taking bronze for the Russian Olympic Committee.

"It's hard to compare Olympic medals, because every one has its own history," said Geisenberger, who took a break away from the sport in 2020 to have a child.

"My first was very, very special because I was a first-time Olympic champion and now I'm a five-time Olympic champion, but it is the first time as a mother. It's just great.

"Training was done around my child. I think we did a really pretty good job as a family. To have another gold is just amazing and a very special moment."

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Last modified on Tuesday, 08 February 2022 13:22
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.