Winter Olympics: 'I puked five times' – Sweden top Beijing medal table after cross-country triumph

By Sports Desk February 08, 2022 1244

Jonna Sundling kept Sweden on top of the Winter Olympics medal table as she landed the country's fourth gold, leading a 1-2 in cross-country skiing.

Sundling took the women's sprint glory ahead of compatriot Maja Dahlqvist, with Sweden now having six medals overall at Beijing 2022.

The champion labelled the track "the toughest I have competed on", and relished having Dahlqvist and another Swedish athlete, Emma Ribom, for company. Ribom finished sixth.

"It feels good to have them by my side at the start line, it feels like we are in a training session but this is the Olympics," Sundling said. "It was fun to be three Swedes in the final, it's amazing."

Dahlqvist found the event so taxing that she threw up after crossing the finish line in second place.

She said: "I was thinking it's the last thing I ever do and that if there was one race I would push as hard as I could, it was today. 

"I puked five times after. I was super happy and super relieved, too. Now I feel better. I am just so happy. It was so awesome that we could make it a double."

Oskar Eriksson and Almida De Val delivered a bronze for Sweden in curling's mixed doubles, beating Great Britain in the third-place match, before Italy defeated Norway in the final.

Netherlands jumped a place to second on the table after Kjeld Nuis struck gold and Thomas Krol took silver in the men's 1,500 metres speed skating.

Nuis said he took inspiration from Ireen Wust on Monday winning the women's equivalent race, landing a gold medal for the fifth successive Winter Olympics.

"She's a really special human being," said Nuis, "she's the best skater in the world. She's been winning World Championships and Olympic medals since she was young.

"She's not winning every race any more. When I saw her win yesterday, it inspired me so much. When you see her win like that, you think, 'I want to do the same'."

Russian Olympic Committee slid from second to seventh on the table, with China nudging up to third spot thanks to Eileen Gu's stunning triumph in the freeski big air.

Gu landed a left double cork 1620, a high-tariff piece of skill, to earn China's third gold of their home Games.

Born in the United States to an American father and Chinese mother, Gu has taken flak on social media for deciding to compete for China.

But she delivered a fiery riposte to her critics, saying: "I know that I have a good heart and I know my reasons for making the decisions I do are based on a greater common interest and something I feel is for the greater good.

"If other people don't really believe that that's where I'm coming from, then that just reflects that they do not have the empathy to empathise with a good heart, perhaps because they don't share the same kind of morals that I do.

"In that sense, I'm not going to waste my time trying to placate people who are, one, uneducated and, two, probably never going to experience the kind of joy and gratitude and love that I have the great fortune to experience on a daily basis.

"If people don't like me, that's their loss. They're never going to win the Olympics."

Germany, who got a gold from Natalie Geisenberger in the women's luge singles, sit alongside China in a share of third, both having two silvers to complement their three gold medals.

Ester Ledecka's latest glorious gold, in parallel giant slalom, gave the Czech Republic a first medal of the Games, meaning they sit in a tie with New Zealand for 15th place.

Medal table (after day five):

1. Sweden (G4 S1 B1, Total: 6)
2. Netherlands (G3 S3 B1, Total: 7)
3. China (G3 S2 B0, Total: 5)
3. Germany (G3 S2 B0, Total: 5)
5. Norway (G3 S1 B4, Total: 8)
6. Italy (G2 S4 B1, Total: 7)
7. Russian Olympic Committee (G2 S3 B5, Total: 10)
8. Austria (G2 S3 B2, Total: 7)
9. Slovenia (G2 S1 B2, Total: 5)
10. France (G1 S4 B0, Total: 5)

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Last modified on Tuesday, 08 February 2022 15:00
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