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Winter Olympics: Noel beats the stress to end France's long wait for Alpine skiing gold

By Sports Desk February 16, 2022 517

Clement Noel was in dreamland after conquering the stress to end France's 16-year wait for an Alpine skiing Olympic gold medal on Wednesday.

A blistering second run of 49.79 seconds sealed the men's slalom title in Beijing.

Noel finished four-hundredths of a second off the podium in fourth place in the PyeongChang four years ago, but took he took the top step on this occasion.

The 24-year-old was in sixth place after his opening run before claiming gold by a huge margin of 0.61 seconds from AustrJohannes Strolz, with Sebastian Foss-Solevaag taking bronze for Norway.

Not since Antoine Deneriaz took the men's downhill title at the Turin 2006 Games had France won an Olympic Alpine skiing gold medal before Noel delivered on the big stage.

He said: "Olympic Games is always stressful, it's once every four years. You have one race, around one minute and 40 seconds just to prove that and show your best skiing so for sure it was stressful.

"I was quite fast in training last few days, I had good feelings, way better than in January. That also fuelled me up for this race today. I knew that I liked the snow. I was quite confident, it’s not the same as a World Cup race.

"Everybody will push hard for the Olympics and I had to do this also without asking myself too many questions."

He added: "It was a goal for me to go back to France with a medal. I knew that I can do this, but it's always really difficult to do it in the most important moment, so [I'm] really happy to manage that pressure and to do it pretty well, especially on the second run."

 

Finland's women claim ice hockey bronze, USA men's team stunned by Slovakia

Finland celebrated winning a women's ice hockey bronze medal at the expense of Switzerland at the Wukesong Sports Centre.

The Swiss were consigned to a 4-0 defeat as their opponents produced an inspired performance.

There was an upset in the men's competition earlier in the day as the United States were consigned to a 3-2 loss by Slovakia.

With no NHL participation in Beijing, a young American side led 2-1 late in regulation time. However, Marek Hrivik struck with 43 seconds left to force 10 minutes of overtime and Peter Cehlarik was the only player to convert his penalty in a shoot-out to send Slovakia through along with Finland, the Russian Olympic Committee and Sweden, who beat Canada 2-0 to advance.

 

Fontana makes history

Arianna Fontana became Italy's most decorated Winter Olympian when the speed skating legend won an 11th medal.

The 35-year-old great took silver in the 1500 metres behind reigning champion Choi Minjeong in what is her fifth Games.

Fontana has won more medals than any other short-track skater and broke another record in the Chinese capital.

She moved beyond cross-country skier Stefania Belmondo to go out on her own as Italy's greatest Winter Olympics athlete.

 

Canada rock Republic of Korea

The final event of the men's short-track speed-skating competition was one to remember, with Canada beating Republic of Korea to relay gold.

Canada came out on top in the 5000m event, stunning the Korean team in a tense final.

There was also drama in the battle for bronze, with Italy getting the verdict in a photo finish despite clocking the same time as the ROC.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 16 February 2022 11:56

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