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Winter Olympics: Schouten makes it three of the best

By Sports Desk February 19, 2022 948

The Winter Olympics is wrapping up, and there were plenty of medals up for grabs on Saturday.

A youngster challenged over the experienced head in the men's freeski halfpipe final, while Irene Schouten clinched her third gold of the Beijing Games.

The Dutch speed skater has been a major success story and made it three of the best as she triumphed in the women's mass start, following her earlier wins in the 3000m and 5000m events.

"My dream was after these Games to be called an Olympic champion, and now I am a three-time champion. I am living the dream," said Schouten, who took bronze in the same event in 2018.

"It is a game. Not always the fastest wins, you need some luck. Today I had luck. I was fast, but I got some luck, too."

Schouten is the second woman to win three gold medals in speed skating at a single Olympic Winter Games, joining compatriot Yvonne van Gennip from 1988.

She has also joined Japan's Takagi Miho in winning four speed skating medals in Beijing. They are the fourth and fifth females to win four medals in speed skating at a single Olympic Winter Games.

In the men's equivalent, Bart Swings sealed Belgium's first Olympic Winter gold since 1948. 

Porteous bests reigning champion Wise

World champion Nico Porteous came out victorious on the slopes, claiming freeski halfpipe gold ahead of reigning Olympic champion David Wise, who was aiming for a third straight gold in the event.

Porteous is the first athlete from New Zealand to claim two medals in freestyle skiing. He took bronze in Pyeongchang.

At 20 years, 88 days, Porteous is the youngest gold medallist in men's freeski halfpipe, while Wise, who is 31 years and 234 days old, is the oldest medallist in the discipline.

Germany, ROC celebrate one-two combinations

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) claimed four medals on Saturday.

Silver and bronze came their way in the pairs figure skating, with Chinese duo Sui Wenjing and Han Cong claiming gold.

The ROC's success came in cross-country skiing, with Alexander Bolshunov cruising to gold in the shortened men's mass start. It marked his third top prize of the Games.

Ivan Yakimushkin finished 5.5 seconds behind, with Norway's Simen Hegstad Krueger, who raced for the first time in Beijing having had to isolate due to COVID-19, finishing third.

Germany also had a gold-silver combination to celebrate in women's bobsleigh.

Success for Sweden

There was heartbreak for Great Britain, as their men fell just short in a thrilling curling final against Sweden.

Great Britain had to come from 3-1 down to force an extra end, but Sweden prevailed 5-4, meaning Britain's 98-year wait for men's curling gold rolls on.

"It's still pretty raw," GB captain Bruce Mouat told BBC Sport. "That's going to be the case for quite a while.

"I'm trying to think how great our week was and [feel] proud how we went about it. We topped the table and had a really good semi-final performance so I'm trying to think about the other things apart from that game."

Sweden's women, meanwhile, downed Switzerland 9-7 in their bronze medal game. 

However, Sweden's men could not claim ice hockey bronze, as they were thrashed 4-0 by Slovakia.

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Last modified on Saturday, 19 February 2022 13:20

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