Winter Olympics: Skeleton pair keep Germany top of Beijing medal table

By Sports Desk February 11, 2022 1301

Europe dominated the Winter Olympics medal table after Friday's successes were shared out, with no nation picking up more than one gold and Germany holding on to top spot.

Snowboard halfpipe champion Ayumu Hirano was the only non-European to earn podium-topping honours, as he delivered Japan's second gold in Beijing.

Hirano competed in skateboarding at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and said that stood him in good stead for his mission on snow, as he fended off rivals including Shaun White, who finished in fourth.

"Experiencing something that is different from snowboarding helps me mentally and how I manage my emotions," Hirano said.

"Skateboarding helped me substantially in that sense. This event was a huge challenge for me, but that experience itself gave me a lot of confidence, looking back over the last four years. Skateboarding helped make me stronger."

American success dried up for 24 hours, after a golden day for Team USA on Thursday, and they slipped to sixth after missing out on the medals front.

Germany consolidated first place, now with seven gold and two silver medals, after Christopher Grotheer led a one-two in men's skeleton, ahead of team-mate Axel Jungk.

Norway sit second, with Marte Olsbu Roeiseland an emphatic winner of the women's 7.5km sprint biathlon and Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo taking bronze in the men's 15km classic cross-country, behind Finnish winner Iivo Niskanen.

Klaebo, a 25-year-old who has four Olympic gold medals to his name, including three from 2018 in Pyeongchang, did not mind his first experience of a lower position on the podium at the Games.

"For me it's the first [Olympic] medal in distance and I think this one is as good as a gold medal for sure. So really, really satisfied," he said.

 

Netherlands struck gold in speed skating again, this time in the short course 1,000 metres discipline as Suzanne Schulting successfully defended her title. After setting a world record to win her quarter-final, Schulting did not need to go so quickly in the final.

She was runner-up in the 500m earlier in her Beijing campaign, and said on Friday: "I was really happy with the silver. But when I was at the medal plaza and stood on the medal podium, I was like, 'I really want to have that gold one'. So it was kind of motivation for today."

Behind third-placed Netherlands sat Sweden, who landed a second speed skating gold through Nils van der Poel, and then Austria, completing an all-European top five on the medal table, with the USA and China sixth and seventh after relatively quiet days.


Medal table:

1. Germany (G7 S4 B0, Total: 11)
2. Norway (G6 S3 B5, Total: 14)
3. Netherlands (G5 S4 B1, Total: 10)
4. Sweden (G5 S2 B2, Total: 9)
5. Austria (G4 S6 B4, Total: 14)
6. United States (G4 S5 B1, Total: 10)
7. China (G3 S3 B1, Total: 7)
8. Russian Olympic Committee (G2 S4 B6, Total: 12)
9. Italy (G2 S4 B4, Total: 10)
10. Japan (G2 S2 B4, Total: 8)

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Last modified on Friday, 11 February 2022 15:41
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