Robert Lewandowski joined skiing greats Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin in saluting Iga Swiatek for earning the number one ranking in women's tennis for the first time.

At the age of 20, Swiatek guaranteed she will top the WTA list after the Miami Open by beating Viktorija Golubic 6-2 6-0 in her opening match at the event.

Swiatek will replace Ash Barty, whose shock retirement will see the Australian drop off the ranking ladder entirely when it is next published on April 4.

Since a shock French Open victory in October 2020, when the unseeded Swiatek stormed through the draw without dropping a set, the Polish youngster has continued to make a major impact.

She reached at least the fourth round of all the grand slams last year and was a semi-finalist at the 2022 Australian Open, before victory at WTA 1000 events in Doha and Indian Wells propelled her to number two in the rankings.

Now she will climb a step higher, and that news has proven popular with Swiatek's supporters, who include a number of illustrious names.

Fellow Polish sporting star Lewandowski, who is rewriting goalscoring records in Germany with Bayern Munich, sent his compatriot a message on Instagram that read simply: "Congratulations Iga. Well done."

Swiatek is a huge admirer of Americans Vonn and Shiffrin, who have both landed World Championship and Olympic gold medals on the slopes, and the respect is mutual.

Vonn told Swiatek her achievement was "So deserved!!", and Shiffrin posted: "Congrats Iga!!"

Former WTA number one Kim Clijsters, who was also 20 when she first hit the top spot in 2003, felt it was a natural next step for Swiatek to move up a rung and become the 28th top-ranked player in the tour's history. Swiatek will also be the first Pole to sit at the summit.

Clijsters said: "To see Iga grow as a tennis player, it has been so beautiful for me. There's a certain type of focus that is on tennis, and tennis only. There's a drive there that I admire very much – a drive that I recognise."

Belgian Clijsters, quoted on the WTA website, added: "She's had great results in the past, but she still wants to improve. We've seen others that kind of take a step back and say, 'Oh, I've won a slam now, I've made it. There's sponsors coming in and I get treated like a princess wherever I go'.

"Just because you’re the number one player and have won slams, doesn't mean you should treat other people differently. I feel like Ash Barty did that amazingly, and I think Iga has that focus, too."

Norway's Therese Johaug capped off a brilliant individual campaign, and her Olympic career, in Beijing as she claimed a third gold of the Games in cross-country skiing.

Johaug, who missed the 2018 Games due to a doping ban, won the very first gold medal in Beijing and rounded off the cross-country skiing events with a victory in the women's 30km mass start on Sunday.

It took Norway's gold medal total to 16, four in front of second-best Germany.

Johaug had already suggested she would be retiring before the next Olympics, in 2026 in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo, and the 33-year-old is set to go out on top.

"It is a dream come true that I can stand here for Norway with three gold medals in the same Olympics," she said. "I was so, so happy 14 days ago when I got my first one, and I cannot believe I have more. It's fantastic to end my Olympic career with these three gold medals."

Jessie Diggins took silver, becoming the first American woman to win a distance medal in cross-country skiing, despite having struggled with food poisoning this week.

Diggins said: "That might have been the best race of my entire life, I'm not going to lie. It was also maybe the hardest race of my whole life." 

Kerttu Niskanen took bronze to secure her second medal of the Games. 

Great Britain break their duck

Great Britain finally claimed their first gold of the Games, as Eve Muirhead led her women's curling team to a 10-3 thrashing of Japan.

It followed on from the men's team taking silver on Saturday. The gold was Team GB's first in curling in 20 years.

"It's a dream come true," Muirhead, told BBC Sport. "That was my third semi-final, and the two I lost were hard but I bounced back and here we are. We are Olympic champions. It's such a special moment."

Finland end 70-year wait

Finland won their first Olympic gold in men's ice hockey, as they defeated the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) 2-1.

It took Finland 70 years to win gold. They had previously clinched bronze in 1994, 1998, 2010 and 2014, and silver in 1988 and 2006.

The victory earned a presidential seal of approval, too.

"I heard our president is going to call me and I would like to talk to him," said coach Jukka Jalonen. 

Dominant Germany claim three more medals

It has been a brilliant Games for Germany, who have taken seven bobsleigh medals, adding to six golds and three silvers won in skeleton and luge. They have dominated on the tracks.

Francesco Friedrich steered Germany to a 12th and final gold, in the four-man event on Saturday, while Johannes Lochner finished second behind his team-mate.

Pilot Friedrich has now equalled compatriots Kevin Kuske and Andre Lange as the bobsleigh athletes with the most titles, with four gold medals each.

"We hope it goes on," he said. "Our goal is to make four more years. We want to make the Olympics with all our friends, our sponsors in Cortina. It's near Germany, so maybe we can make one or two buses for all our families and friends and sponsors to finish our careers together."

Germany also had a silver to celebrate in alpine skiing. They finished behind Austria and ahead of Norway in the mixed team parallel big final.

Sunday sees the final day of action at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, and the last five medal events.

Great Britain's women will attempt to go one better than their male counterparts in the curling, the four-man bobsleigh concludes, while Norway will seek to add to their impressive medal haul in the final cross-country skiing event.

The rescheduled mixed-team parallel slalom should finally get under way, and the men's ice hockey final promises to be an intriguing one.

Here, Stats Perform takes a look at Sunday's events, before the evening's closing ceremony.

Alpine skiing

The mixed team parallel slalom is due to take place after being rescheduled from Saturday due to windy conditions.

The event is part of the Olympic programme for just the second time, with Switzerland defending their title and Norway the reigning world champions.

It sees skiers race one another, two at a time, on side-by-side and identical slalom courses, with the first to reach the finish line scoring for their team. Each team contains two men and two women, who race against rivals of the same gender, with 16 teams entered and the competition operating in a knockout mode, with quarter-final places on offer to the first-round winners.

Switzerland won the first iteration in Pyeongchang, while Austria took silver and Norway claimed bronze.

Bobsleigh

The final bobsleigh event sees the four-man sleds compete, with the first two heats having taken place on Saturday.

The leaderboard at the halfway stage looks as many expected it would, with the team led by German pilot Francesco Friedrich leading the way, just ahead of the team of compatriot Johannes Lochner.

Canada's foursome led by Justin Kripps sat third, but the threat of a Germany sweep - as happened in the two-man event - remained, with Christoph Hafer's team in fourth.

German sleds have won five of the last seven four-man events at the Winter Games dating back to 1994 in Lillehammer.

Cross-country skiing

The cross-country skiing events have been largely dominated by Norway and Russian Olympic Committee, with the two teams accounting for eight of 11 gold medals so far (four each).

The final event on Sunday will be the women's 30km mass start, with Norway's Therese Johaug one of the favourites after taking gold in the 10km classic and skiathlon.

Finland's Krista Parmakoski (silver) is the only medallist from 2018 to compete here, and she will be looking to add to the bronze she won in the 10km classic.

Curling

Though Great Britain won their first medal of Beijing 2022 on Saturday, their men's curling team will have been disappointed to only take silver after losing to Sweden in the gold medal match.

Eve Muirhead leads her team into the women's final on Sunday against Japan, and will be confident of doing so having beaten them 10-4 in the round-robin stages.

Ice hockey

The men's final sees reigning Olympic champions Russian Olympic Committee take on two-time silver medallists Finland.

This will be Finland's first gold medal match since Turin 2006, which was the last Olympic final not to feature either the United States or Canada. Both the US and Canada were heavily impacted by the NHL refusing to release players for Beijing 2022, but this final still promises to be a strong one.

Two of the great under-performers of the 2022 Winter Olympics could strike gold on the final Saturday of the Games.

Star US skier Mikaela Shiffrin has endured a dismal fortnight, and the same can be said for the Great Britain team as a whole.

All this could change, as Shiffrin bids to end her Beijing campaign on a high with a first medal at her sixth attempt, while Team GB are guaranteed at least silver in men's and women's curling. They have yet to appear on the medal table, with curling proving the team's salvation.

Sweden will face Slovakia in the men's ice hockey bronze medal game, ahead of Sunday's final between Finland and Russian Olympic Committee.

Here, Stats Perform takes a look at Saturday's gold medal events.

Alpine skiing

Shiffrin remarked that she felt "like a joke" after failing to finish the women's combined – a third DNF of her difficult trip to China. She has also had a ninth place and an 18th, so Shiffrin has a lot on the line in the mixed team parallel slalom.

The event is part of the Olympic programme for just the second time, with Switzerland defending their title and Norway the reigning world champions.

It sees skiers race one another, two at a time, on side-by-side and identical slalom courses, with the first to reach the finish line scoring for their team. Each team contains two men and two women, who race against rivals of the same gender, with 16 teams entered and the competition operating in a knockout mode, with quarter-final places on offer to the first-round winners.

Bobsleigh

Germany lead the way in the battle for the top of the podium after two of the four heats staged so far, with the sled piloted by Laura Nolte in gold medal position, ahead of defending champion Mariama Jamanka.

That creates the possibility of a German one-two, although the USA's Elana Meyers Taylor sat third with aspirations of improving on that position going into Saturday, when the competition concludes.

Cross-country skiing

Finland's Iivo Niskanen is the reigning champion in the 50km mass start and has a gold, silver and bronze from Beijing, but he is sitting out Saturday's event.

There are a host of challengers lining up to succeed Niskanen as champion. Among them, Russian Olympic Committee's Alexander Bolshunov will be looking to improve on his silver from 2018 and add to his four medals accrued so far in Beijing.

Norway's Simen Hegstad Krueger and Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo could also be in the mix, along with the likes of Bolshunov's team-mate Denis Spitsov.

Curling

Standing between Bruce Mouat's Team GB rink and the gold medal are a strong Sweden team, led by skip and former army tank commander Niklas Edin.

Edin was not mincing his words when he described the showdown as "a clash of the titans in our sport".

Great Britain edged their round-robin tussle 7-6 in Beijing but also have recent experience of losing to Sweden. Competing as Scotland, the GB men were beaten 10-5 by the Swedes in the 2021 World Championship final.

Edin said of Saturday's match: "It might be nerve-wracking, but it's going to be a super well-played game. For the last couple of years they've probably been the most consistent team. And in championships over the past seven, eight years we've been the most consistent team."

Sweden also feature in Saturday's women's bronze medal game, taking on Switzerland, after losing 12-11 to Great Britain in Friday's semi-final.

Figure skating

China's Sui Wenjing and Han Cong set the highest score ever achieved by a duo in a short programme to edge ahead in the pairs skating on Friday, with Saturday's free skating to come.

Their score of 84.41 points eclipsed that of Russian Olympic Committee's Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov (84.25), with a second Russian pair consisting of world champions Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov in third.

China have won gold in the pairs once before, when Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo, a married couple, triumphed on the Vancouver ice in 2010.

Freestyle skiing

New Zealand have taken a gold and silver from Beijing so far, both going to snowboard marvel Zoi Sadowski-Synnott. Now freeski world champion Nico Porteous will look to follow her lead and reach the podium in the men's halfpipe final.

Porteous will compete in a field otherwise made up of competitors from the United States and Canada, and by setting the second-best score in qualifying has already served a reminder of his medal credentials.

US star Aaron Blunck led the way in qualifying, with another American, Birk Irving, in third. But perhaps all eyes should be on David Wise, winner of this event at the last two Games. At the age of 31, Wise is chasing a hat-trick, and posting the fourth-best score in qualifying suggests the man from Reno, Nevada, should not be discounted.

Speed skating

Action on the speed skating rink wraps up on Saturday with the men's and women's mass start events.

Korea's Lee Seung Hoon is the men's defending champion and is joined in the field by the silver medallist from four years ago, Belgium's Bart Swings. The last time Belgium won a Winter Olympics gold was in the pairs figure skating at the 1948 Games in St Moritz. American Joey Mantia is another with serious designs on gold.

In the women's event, the Dutch duo of Irene Schouten and Marijke Groenewoud are likely to be there or thereabouts, along with Canada's Ivanie Blondin and Italy's Francesca Lollobrigida.

Sandra Naeslund claimed Winter Olympics gold for Sweden in the women's freestyle ski cross to add her name to an elite list.

The 25-year-old stormed to victory ahead of Canada's Marielle Thompson, with Daniela Maier claiming bronze after Marielle Thompson was bumped down for an infringement.

Naeslund joins Thompson and Jean-Frederic Chapius as the only freestyle skiers to have won Olympic gold, the world championship title and the crystal globe in the event.

Canada have won a medal in all four Games this event has been held, though unlike in 2010, 2014 and 2018, they were unable to stand top of the podium.

Stats Perform picks out some other standout numbers from Thursday's action in Beijing.


7 - Japan's Miho Takagi won her seventh Olympic medal with victory in the women's speed skating 1000m, surpassing China's Wang Meng (six) for the most medals won by an Olympian representing an Asian nation in the Winter Games.

12 - Brittany Bowe claimed bronze in the same event to make it 12 medals for the United States in the women's 1000m, followed by 10 for the Netherlands, who won silver thanks to Jutta Leerdam.

3 - Switzerland's Michelle Gisin became the third athlete to defend her Olympic title in the women's alpine combined after Janica Kostelic in 2002 and 2006 and Maria Hofl-Riesch in 2010 and 2014.

5 - Gisin's team-mate Wendy Holdener won silver for her fifth Olympic medal as Switzerland achieved a gold-silver finish in a women's alpine skiing event at the Winter Games for a third time, previously doing so in the 1956 downhill and 1984 downhill.

7 - Canada prevailed 3-2 winners against the USA in the women's ice hockey final to win their fifth gold medal since its introduction to the Games in 1998. This was the seventh medal in event for both nations, having each made the podium every year the event has been contested.

4 - With two goals on Thursday, Canada's Marie-Phillip Poulin is the only ice hockey player – male or female – to score in four Olympic Games finals, scoring seven times in total across those games.

17 - Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova, both 17 years old, won gold and silver respectively in the women's single figure skating, marking the first time that multiple figure skaters under the age of 18 finished on the podium of the event since 1998 when American duo Tara Lipinski (15) and Michelle Kwan (17) won gold and silver respectively.

Norway extended their lead atop the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics medal table with another gold in the Nordic Combined on Thursday.

Erik Valnes and Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo secured gold in the men's cross-country skiing sprint event on Wednesday, and a day later Norway took first place in the men's team Gundersen large hill/4x5km race.

Norway had suffered the blow of being without Jarl Magnus Riiber due to coronavirus, but the team led by four-time Olympic champion Joergen Graabak ultimately coasted to a comfortable win just under 55 seconds ahead of Germany.

Although that was Norway's only medal of any kind on the day, it was enough to increase their lead to four over 10-gold Germany, who – like the United States in third (eight) – did not get any event wins on Thursday.

It was a good day for Canada as well, who beat USA 3-2 in the women's ice hockey final to clinch their fourth gold.

They also took silver in the women's ski cross big final through Marielle Thompson while Sweden's Sandra Naeslund claimed gold, moving them up to fourth ahead of hosts China.

The Russian Olympic Committee had a bittersweet conclusion in the women's figure skating singles. They took gold and silver with Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova, respectively, but 15-year-old Kamila Valieva finished outside the medals despite leading the standings after Tuesday's short program routine.

Switzerland stayed one clear of the Russians and moved level on six golds with Austria and the Netherlands when Michelle Gisin took the women's Alpine combined slalom ahead of compatriot Wendy Holdener.

And the final gold of the day went to Japan and Miho Takagi, who finally got the victory she wanted after three silvers at these Games.

She emerged victorious in the women's 1,000 metres speed skating, setting a new Olympic record of one minute, 13.19 seconds.

Medal table:

1. Norway (G14 S7 B8, Total: 29)
2. Germany (G10 S7 B5, Total: 22)
3. United States (G8 S8 B5, Total: 21)
4. Sweden (G7 S4 B4, Total: 15)
5. China (G7 S4 B2, Total: 13)
6. Austria (G6 S7 B4, Total: 17)
7. Netherlands (G6 S5 B4, Total: 15)
8. Switzerland (G6 S1 B5, Total: 12)
9. Russian Olympic Committee (G5 S9 B12, Total: 26)
10. France (G4 S7 B2, Total: 13)

Kamila Valieva was inconsolable after the Russian teenager endured a nightmare free skating routine to slip off the podium at the Winter Olympics.

Valieva had been on course to win the figure skating singles title after Tuesday's short programme, having controversially being cleared to compete despite failing a drugs test.

However, the immense pressure the 15-year-old has been under in Beijing appeared to have taken its toll as she fell on multiple occasions in an error-strewn performance on Thursday.

Valieva, who tested positive for trimetazidine after a test taken in December, could only finish fourth after a score of 141.83 for her final routine have her 224.09 overall at the Capital Indoor Stadium.

Anna Shcherbakova [255.95] took gold and Alexandra Trusova made it a Russian Olympic Committee one-two, with Kaori Sakamoto of Japan taking bronze.

Shcherbakova said: "The importance of this is so huge that I cannot fully understand it yet. At the moment I have only felt the happiness from the fact that I was able to do everything I am capable of in my programme.

"I still haven't realised that the competition has finished and this is the result. I haven't understood what has happened."

Valieva was reduced to tears after she was unable to claim a second medal. She won team gold last week before her failed drugs test came to light and prompted calls for the youngster to be thrown out of the Games.

Drink wine, ski fast - Gisin reveals winning formula

Michelle Gisin led a Switzerland women's Alpine combined one-two ahead of Wendy Holdener, with Federica Brignone taking bronze for Italy.

Gisin was 12th after the downhill but surged to the top of the podium following a rapid slalom run of 52.25 seconds, and revealed a drop of wine helped her claim gold on the back of a super-G bronze.

She said: "I had a glass of wine before the super-G with Loic (Meillard) and Luca Aerni and after the super-G they wrote on my door: 'Drink wine: ski fast'.

"So I drank a glass of wine with them again yesterday, of course."

Mikaela Shiffrin was left feeling "like a joke" after the American recorded her third DNF of the Games.


Canada dethrone USA to claim 'insane' ice hockey gold

It was Canada's day as they beat fierce rivals the United States in the women's ice hockey final, gaining sweet revenge for their loss in the gold-medal match four years ago.

The Canadians came out on top 3-2 at the Wukesong Sports Centre to win gold for a fifth time, and for a fourth time they did it at the expense of their old foes.

Sarah Nurse scored her fifth goal of the tournament and also broke the record for most points (18) and most assists (13) in a women's Olympic ice hockey competition.

Canada forward Sarah Fillier said: "It is insane. I can't stop shaking. It's a dream come true. I don't think I can find the words. I'm still shaking."


Persistence pays off for Takagi

Miho Takagi finally added an individual gold medal to her collection in the women's 1,000 metres, some 12 years after making her Olympic debut, adding to the three silvers she has won in these Games.

The Japanese speed skater clocked an Olympic record time of one minute, 13.19 seconds to strike gold.

A smiling Takagi said: ""I remembered what my older sister 'Nana' said to me this morning, 'It’s amazing if you win four silvers'.

"But I wasn’t able to accept any kind of pressure from outside. All I was thinking about was to finish the race, and start really well. I thought I would just go for it."

Mikaela Shiffrin was left feeling "like a joke" after her latest Beijing 2022 disappointment as the American recorded her third DNF in the women's combined.

Thursday's event provided Shiffrin with a chance to redeem herself after crashing out of the giant slalom and slalom, before finishing ninth in the super-G and 18th in the downhill.

But after recording the best time in training on Wednesday, the two-time gold medallist and reigning world champion endured yet more heartbreak on the main run.

She was fifth after the downhill in the two-event competition and well positioned to earn a fourth Winter Olympics medal heading into the slalom run.

However, Shiffrin – famed for her consistency – skied out of the slalom course at the 10th gate at the Yanqing National Alpine Ski Centre.

Switzerland's Michelle Gisin defended her combined crown by finishing more than a second ahead of team-mate Wendy Holdener, while Italy's Federica Brignone took bronze.

Asked by Discovery+ what is not working for her in Beijing, Shiffrin said: "That's the question you want to know and it's what I want to know too. 

"I don't really understand what's not working on these races. Especially today.

"Even in the GS and slalom I felt maybe I had too high intensity, I was trying too hard, and I just didn't get into my rhythm first.

"Today I was much more relaxed. Just 'Hey it's slalom, I know how to do slalom, I will take the chance to get into my tempo and start pushing each gate and build it from there.'

"I didn't want to hold back on the run just to make it to the finish – and I wasn't. But I also wasn't going 110 per cent. I was just skiing, and it still didn't work. 

"I don't have a really good explanation for it, and you can imagine how annoying that is for me, because I always want to find an explanation. Right now it's just, there isn't one."

Speaking to reporters later on Thursday, Shiffrin went further as she opened up on the hurt of falling short in each event.

"The whole shebang in sport is that you can have preparation, you can have confidence, or maybe you're not fully confident, you can have all of these pieces," she said. 

"Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I have literally no idea why we keep coming back and doing it. Especially after today.

"But I'm going to come back out tomorrow and ski some parallel GS, because I'm that much of an idiot. I don't know why we keep doing it, but making good turns feels amazing. 

"And I've been doing that these entire two weeks. I wish there was something to show for it. Right now, I just feel like a joke."

Shiffrin has one final chance to win a medal when competing for the United States in Saturday's mixed team parallel event.

The United States' Nick Goepper won his third successive Winter Olympics medal in the men's freeski slopestyle and became the oldest medallist in event in the process.

Goepper, who won bronze in 2014 and silver in 2018, is only the third freestyle skier to win three Olympic medals in the same event.
 
Aged at 27 years and 339 days, Goepper posted a best score of 86.48 to finish behind compatriot Alex Hall (90.10) as the USA continued its dominance in the sport. 

The USA have won six medals in this event in the three times its has appeared at the Games, while the 31 medals won in freestyle skiing is four more than next-best Canada.

Jesper Tjader took bronze off his first run of 85.38 – Sweden's first medal in this event, and their third in men's freestyle skiing overall at Beijing 2022.

"It means a lot. My goal with the Olympics is to land my best run ever, and today I finally landed it. I couldn't be more stoked," Tjader said.

Stats Perform looks at some more of the standout numbers following the conclusion of Wednesday's action in Beijing.


2 - Erik Valnes and Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo led Norway to the team sprint gold medal, the latter becoming the first cross-country skier – male or female – to win two Olympic hold medals in the team sprint.

1 - The Russian Olympic Committee placed second to Sweden in the women's 4x6km relay, meaning they are the first nation to win an Olympic medal in all three biathlon relay events at a single Winter Games following their success in the mixed relay and men's relay.

3 - After helping Sweden to finish second in the cross-country team sprint, Jonna Sundling completed a full set of medals at Beijing 2022 as she added to the gold won in the individual sprint and bronze in the relay.

8 - France came out on top in the men's Alpine skiing slalom for the first time since 2006 thanks to Clement Noel. It is the eighth medal France have won in the event, matching Italy in second but still some way behind Austria (18).

3 - Korean athlete Choi Minjeong successfully defended her gold medal in the women’s 1500m in short-track speed-skating, which was her third medal in Beijing following silver medals in the 1000m and 3000m relay.

Gold for Norway in the men's team sprint classic in cross-country skiing on Wednesday ensured they maintain a three-gold advantage over Germany in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics medal table.

Erik Valnes and Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo brought home the victory for Norway ahead of Iivo Niskanen and Joni Maki of Finland and Russian pair Alexander Bolshunov and Alexander Terentev.

Germany's only gold of the day actually came in the women's team sprint event, finishing ahead of Sweden and the Russian Olympic Committee, with the same three countries also taking the medals in the women's 4x6km relay in biathlon (Sweden gold, ROC silver, Germany bronze).

There were two medals for the United States, who stay in third place in the table, with both coming in the men's freeski slopestyle. Alex Hall claimed gold while Nick Goepper won silver.

It was a productive day for hosts China as they leapfrogged both Netherlands and Austria into fourth place after freestyle skier Qi Guangpu's gold in the men's aerials.

Austria fall to fifth despite silver for Johannes Strolz in the men's slalom, while Sweden are now joint-sixth with the Netherlands after their biathlon gold, with both nations on an identical record of six gold, four silver and four bronze.

The Russian Olympic Committee actually has the second most medals at the Beijing Games with 24, adding a silver and three bronze medals to their tally on Wednesday, but with only four gold they remain in ninth place.

France stay 10th despite gold for alpine skier Clement Noel in the men's slalom. 

Medal table:

1. Norway (G13 S7 B8, Total: 28)
2. Germany (G10 S6 B4, Total: 20)
3. United States (G8 S7 B4, Total: 19)
4. China (G7 S4 B2, Total: 13)
5. Austria (G6 S7 B4, Total: 17)
T6. Netherlands (G6 S4 B4, Total: 14)
T6. Sweden (G6 S4 B4, Total: 14)
8. Switzerland (G5 S0 B5, Total: 10)
9. Russian Olympic Committee (G4 S8 B12, Total: 24)
10. France (G4 S7 B2, Total: 13)

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.

Kamila Valieva takes to the ice looking to secure her second figure skating medal of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games on Thursday.

The Russian teenager was controversially cleared to continue competing this week despite testing positive for performance-enhancing drug trimetazidine in December.

Valieva won a team figure skating gold last week before her positive test was revealed and is on course to win the singles title after leading the way in the short program routine on Tuesday.

Another teen sensation, China's Eileen Gu – who has already won freeski big air gold and slopestyle silver - begins her quest for a third medal in Beijing as the women's freeski halfpipe qualification gets underway.

Stats Perform takes a look at Thursday's upcoming medal events:

Alpine skiing

The women's alpine program ends with the combined event, with 2018 Olympic champion Michelle Gisin from Switzerland hoping to become the third woman to successfully defend the title after Janica Kostelic of Croatia (2002-2006) and Maria Hofl-Riesch of Germany (2010-2014).

We could see Mikaela Shiffrin's redemption story after the American, who has had a Games to forget so far, crashed out of the giant slalom and slalom, before finishing ninth in the super G and 18th in the downhill.

A silver medallist at PyeongChang 2018, Shiffrin is also the reigning world champion, and achieved the best time in training on Wednesday.

Figure skating

Valieva leads the way in the women's single skating event after receiving 82.16 points in the short program on Tuesday.

The 15-year-old is ahead of another Russian, Anna Shcherbakova (80.20) and Japan's Kaori Sakamoto (79.84) heading into Thursday's free skate.

Freestyle skiing

In the women's ski cross event, all eyes will be on Sweden's Sandra Naeslund. She has won eight out of nine races of this season's World Cup, including the final event before the Olympics last month.

Marielle Thompson of Canada, the 2014 Olympic champion, is the only other woman to have won a World Cup event this season, and she will be hoping to complete an inspirational return after rupturing her ACL in her right knee last March.

The qualification for the men's and women's freeski halfpipe begin, with Gu aiming to win another medal in front of her adoring fans in Beijing, with the women's final set to take place on Friday.

Ice hockey

The anticipated women's gold medal game between Canada and the United States takes place on Thursday.

Both teams comfortably made it to the final on Monday after Canada beat Switzerland 10-3 and USA overcame Finland 4-1 in the semis.

The rivals have already played each other in Beijing, with the Canadians winning 4-2 in the group stage.

Nordic combined

The final event of the Nordic combined, the team Gundersen large hill 4x5km relay, will see Norway's team of Joergen Graabak, Jens Luraas Oftebro, Espen Bjoernstad and Espen Andersen looking to increase their nation's dominance.

Norway (three) is the only country to have won more than one Nordic combined medal so far, but they will likely face competition from the other nations to medal: Germany, Austria and Japan.

Speed skating

In the women's 1000m, we will certainly have a new champion after Jorien ter Mors of the Netherlands, who won gold in 2018, recently retired.

Fellow Dutch skater Jutta Leerdam, the 2019 world champion, is her nation's best hope, while United States duo Brittany Bowe and Erin Jackson, who won gold in the 500m, are also among the favourites.

Japan's Miho Takagi could become the third reigning world sprint champion to win Olympic 1000m gold after Karin Kania-Enke of Germany and American Bonnie Blair.

It was good day for Norway as they claimed three golds to increase their lead in the medal table at the Beijing Winter Olympics on Tuesday.

Five Norwegian athletes won medals as the Scandinavian nation took their total tally for the Games to 26.

Norway have secured 12 Olympic titles in the Chinese capital, three more than second-placed Germany.

Joergen Graabak was crowned Nordic combined champion for Norway and compatriot Jens Luraas took silver at the end of a dramatic 10-kilometre cross-country skiing race.

Jarl Magnus Riiber led the way for Norway after topping the ski jump standings on the large hill at the National Ski Jumping Centre, but took a wrong turn when he had an advantage of 44 seconds in the cross-country skiing.

Riiber turned around after realising he had gone off track and was left to rue a huge lapse, which his countryman Graabak capitalised on.

Norway also won men's biathlon gold in the 4x7.5km relay event and took the men's team pursuit speed skating title.

German bobsleigh legend Francesco Friedrich led the first podium clean sweep of these Games in the two-man competition at the Yanqing National Sliding Centre.

Johannes Lochner won silver and Christoph Hafer took bronze as Germany took their medal tally to 18, half of which have been gold.

There were no gold medals for third-placed USA, but Anna Gasser won Austria's sixth of the Games in the snowboard big air final.

Switzerland rose to eighth after Corinne Suter and Mathilde Gremaud were crowned women's downhill and freeski slopestyle champions respectively.

 

Medal table:

1. Norway (G12 S7 B7, Total: 26)
2. Germany (G9 S6 B3, Total: 18)
3. United States (G7 S6 B4, Total: 17)
4. Austria (G6 S6 B4, Total: 16)
5. Netherlands (G6 S4 B3, Total: 13)
6. China (G6 S4 B2, Total: 12)
7. Sweden (G5 S3 B3, Total: 11)
8. Switzerland (G5 S0 B5, Total: 10)
9. Russian Olympic Committee (G4 S7 B9, Total: 20)
10. France (G3 S7 B2, Total: 12)

Corinne Suter won downhill gold and Sofia Goggia claimed an astonishing Olympic silver medal in Beijing on Tuesday less than a month after a huge crash.

Suter mastered the 'Rock course' at the Yanqing National Alpine Skiing Centre to top the podium after crossing the line in a time of one minute, 31.87 seconds.

The Swiss world champion suffered a nasty pre-season training accident in Zermatt back in September, but revealed she took inspiration from the great Lindsey Vonn to win the blue riband event.

Suter said: "My head was not really good from the beginning of the season. It's always difficult when you have such a hard crash because you think, 'yeah it's okay', but it's not."

She added: "From the first training run I really liked the slope here and also the snow is really good. Also I [was] watching today the runs from her (Vonn) all the time. She's my biggest idol."

Goggia could surely never have envisaged winning a medal just 23 days after a crash in Cortina left her with a damaged cruciate ligament and a fractured left leg, yet the Italian was only 0.16secs slower than Suter and she was joined on the podium by compatriot Nadia Delago.

An elated Goggia said: "I came here with no days of skiing. I also crashed in super-G training and I said to my coach: ‘I cannot do this, I cannot do this. How can I make it to the downhill if I cannot put my leg down?’ And he said: ‘You will do it because you know how to do it.'"

Goggia added: "I found an incredible strength inside of myself...I was travelling by a sort of light."

Valieva on course for controversial gold 

Russian teenager Kamila Valieva started her quest to win a controversial figure skating singles gold medal by recovering a mistake to take the lead.

The 15-year-old was contentiously cleared to go for the individual title on Monday despite the revelation that she had tested positive for performance-enhancing drug trimetazidine in December

After helping the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) secure team figure skating gold last week, Valieva headed into the individual event as the favourite to take the title.

Valieva failed to land a triple axel after being cheered onto the ice for her short program routine, but put that behind her to earn a score of 82.16 from the judges. 

She looked very emotional on the ice after such a difficult time for the youngster, who could have found herself thrown out of the Games.

Fellow Russian Anna Shcherbakova is in second spot following her score of 80.20, with Kaori Sakamoto (79.84) of Japan in third heading into the free skate on Thursday.

 

Riiber's Beijing nightmare takes a huge turn for the worse

Norway increased their lead at the top of the medal table, but Jarl Magnus Riiber endured a Nordic combined nightmare.

The 24-year-old spent two weeks isolating in a hotel room after testing positive for coronavirus when he arrived in China, but was on course to win gold a day after coming out quarantine.

The Norwegian topped the ski jump standings on the large hill and held a lead of 44 seconds at the start of the 10-kilometre cross-country skiing race.

Riiber literally lost his way, though, as he headed for the finishing line at the end of the first of four laps, rather than starting another loop.

After realising what he later described as "a silly mistake", Riiber turned back in a hasty retreat, but his advantage had been cut to barely 10 seconds.

He ended up finishing eighth as compatriot Joergen Graabak was crowned champion, and Riiber was left to reflect on a massive gaffe.

 

Debutants Denmark into last eight 

Denmark will face ROC in the quarter-finals of the men's ice hockey competition after beating Latvia 3-2 at the Wukesong Sports Centre.

The Danes are competing in this event for the first time and they are making their presence felt, with goalkeeper Sebastian Dahm describing the defeat of Latvia as "the biggest result in Danish ice hockey."

Germany, silver medallists in PyeongChang four years ago, are out after a 4-0 defeat by Slovakia, who will face the United States in the last eight.

Canada and Sweden will do battle for a place in the semi-finals, while Finland take on Switzerland.

Great Britain flagbearer Dave Ryding takes to the slopes on Wednesday, as he looks to seal the nation's first medal at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

And he has the support of Liverpool and England footballer Jordan Henderson.

There are two finals in the men's freestyle skiing, too, while Finland and Switzerland's women go for bronze in the ice hockey.

Medals are up for grabs in the biathlon, cross-country skiing and short track speed skating. Here, Stats Perform looks at the main events to come on Wednesday.

Alpine ski

It has been a frustrating Games so far for Team GB, with no medals recorded as of yet. However, one of their big hopes will go for glory in the men's slalom.

Ryding, 35, made history by winning the first World Cup title for Great Britain just prior to the Games. However, he is one of six different winners in the six World Cup slalom events held so far this season, meaning the Olympic field is wide open.

But, he has the full backing of not only Team GB, but his beloved Liverpool, whose captain Henderson sent a message of support to Ryding.

"I just wanted to send you a quick message to say big congratulations on the win and all the very best in Beijing," Henderson said in the video message.

"I hope it goes well. It's nice to hear you are a big Liverpool fan. I hope to see you at Anfield when you get back. Take care mate, good luck.”

Sebastian Foss-Solevag, the 2021 world champion, must be considered among the favourites. 

Biathlon

Belarus will be looking to defend their title from 2018 in the women's 4x6km relay, though Sweden and France – silver and bronze medallists respectively in Pyeongchang – are also contenders.

Sweden are the current World Cup leaders, with Norway second and France third, with Belarus down in fifth place.

Cross-country skiing

There are two medal events in cross-country skiing on Wednesday, in the men's and women's team sprints.

The United States are the reigning women's champions, while Norway hold the title in the men's. Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo is part of the team, and he is hunting a fourth medal in Beijing.

Freestyle skiing

Likewise, six more athletes will win medals in freestyle skiing. The men's freeski slopestyle final is perfectly poised. Switzerland's Andri Ragettli topped the qualifying standings, but only just ahead of big air gold medallist Birk Ruud, while reigning Olympic champion Nicholas Goepper came third, with fellow Americans Alex Hall and Colby Stevenson finishing in the top six too.

Another American, Chris Lillis, is going for gold in the men's aerials. He helped the United States to victory in mixed team aerials last week.

Ukrainian Oleksandr Abramenko will be out to defend his title, though World Cup leader Maxim Burov is the favourite.

Short track speed skating

Canada, Italy, China, South Korea and the Russian Olympic Committee will battle it out for a podium place in the men's 5000m relay, with 2018 champions Hungary having failed to make the cut.

In the women's 1500m, South Korea are again well represented, with reigning champion and world record holder Choi Min-jeong involved, along with current World Cup leader Lee Yu-bin.

However, Suzanne Schulting is the 2021 World Short Track Speed Skating champion at all distances and has enjoyed a wonderful Games so far, setting two Olympic records, one world record and winning four medals (two gold, two silver).

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