• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
News > China

Beijing: Germany Tops Medal Tally With Nordic, Luge Golds

  • Vinzenz Geiger of Germany celebrates after Nordic combined individual Gundersen normal hill/10km, cross-country at the National Cross-Country Skiing Center in Zhangjiakou, north China's Hebei Province on Feb. 9, 2022.

    Vinzenz Geiger of Germany celebrates after Nordic combined individual Gundersen normal hill/10km, cross-country at the National Cross-Country Skiing Center in Zhangjiakou, north China's Hebei Province on Feb. 9, 2022. | Photo: Xinhua/Zhu Zheng

Published 9 February 2022

Germany leads the Beijing Winter Olympics medal table with five gold medals.

Germany jumped into the top spot of the medal table after claiming two gold medals on Wednesday through Vinzenz Geiger in Nordic combined and Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt in the luge doubles at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Geiger, gold medalist of the men's team at PyeongChang 2018, recovered a backlog of one minute and 26 seconds from ski jumping to claim the title with a time of 25:07.7.

"It's unreal, I don't know how I managed it. I tried to push hard and I had really, really fast skis. My service guys did the perfect job," said Geiger. "I didn't imagine a medal. A gold medal is crazy."

Joergen Graabak of Norway finished second, 0.8 seconds behind Geiger, followed by Austria's Lukas Greiderer, 6.6 seconds adrift of the leader.

Zhao Jiawen, who lit the cauldron at the opening ceremony with Dinigeer Yilamujiang, became China's first Nordic combined athlete to feature at the Winter Olympics and finished 43rd.

Zhao Jiawen of China competes during Nordic Combined Individual Gundersen Normal Hill/10km, Cross-Country at the National Cross-Country Skiing Center in Zhangjiakou, north China's Hebei Province on Feb. 9, 2022. (Xinhua/Feng Kaihua)

Wendl and Arlt clocked a winning combined time of 1:56.554 from two runs, 0.099 seconds ahead of teammates Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken. Austrians Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller came third in 1:57.065.

In Big Air Shougang, Birk Ruud bagged the inaugural men's freeski big air gold with two impressive runs, winning Norway's fourth gold at the Games.

Ruud, who topped the qualification, opened his stunning performance in the final with a switch left 1980 mute, which earned him 95.75 points. Already securing a gold with a 92.00-point second run, the 21-year-old held a Norwegian flag in his hand during his final jump.

"It was my first time doing it here for the Olympics," Ruud said of his best run at the press conference. "I was injured nine weeks ago and had to stay out for a little bit. I have done the trick many times in here (points to head) but it was the first time doing it ever here at the Olympics, so I am happy."

Birk Ruud of Norway competes during the men's freeski big air final of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at Big Air Shougang in Beijing on Feb. 9, 2022. (Xinhua/Xiong Qi)

The Youth Olympic champion showed a bracelet to the camera after his victory, in a tribute to his late father, who passed away from cancer last year.

"He is always with me in my heart and my parents have made me who I am," Ruud said.

Colby Stevenson of the United States took the silver with 183.00 points, 4.75 behind Ruud, and Swede veteran Henrik Harlaut came third with 181.00 points.

At the age of 30, Harlaut was the oldest competitor in the event, and he was more than happy to win his first Olympic medal from his third Olympics.

"It's super wicked to finally get a medal from the Olympics as I had the potential and level to get a medal at the previous two," said Harlaut, who competed in slopestyle in Sochi and PyeongChang.

Petra Vlhova staged a spectacular comeback to win the women's slalom gold, which is Slovakia's first Olympic medal in Alpine skiing and the first gold for the delegation at Beijing 2022.

Ranking only eighth after the first run, the World Cup leader put on an aggressive second run to make it up for a winning combined time of one minute and 44.98 seconds at the National Alpine Skiing Center in Yanqing. Her arch-rival Mikaela Shiffrin from the United States slid out of medal contention in the first run.

Petra Vlhova of Slovakia competes during the Alpine skiing women's slalom of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at National Alpine Skiing Center in Yanqing District, Beijing on Feb. 9, 2022. (Xinhua/Lian Zhen)

Katharina Liensberger of Austria finished second 0.08 seconds behind Vlhova, and Wendy Holdener of Switzerland was 0.04 seconds further behind.

"Honestly, it was really difficult to be calm and focused on my skiing," Vlhova said of her comeback in the race.

"But I had a lot of power from my team. They trusted me, they believed in me and they repeated it to me, 'you are so strong, just ski free, enjoy and focus on your skiing, nothing else'. They were always repeating this to me in between the two runs."

South Korea also secured its first gold medal of these Games when Hwang Dae-heon won the men's 1,500m short track speed skating final in 2:09.219. Steven Dubois of Canada took the silver in 2:09.254. The bronze went to Semen Elistratov of Russian Olympic Committee in 2:09.267.

Home favorite Ren Ziwei missed out on winning his third gold at the Games after taking the men's 1,000m and mixed team relay. However, the host nation's ace skater was penalized for an arm block in the semifinals.

"It was a stupid mistake," said Ren, who admitted to having too much pressure. "I tried to avoid penalties and the action was unintentional."

Ren Ziwei of China competes during the men's 1,500m quarterfinal of short track speed skating at Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing on Feb. 9, 2022. (Xinhua/Xiong Qi)

Elsewhere on Wednesday, Lindsey Jacobellis of the United States claimed the women's snowboard cross title, followed by French Chloe Trespeuch and Canadian Meryeta Odine.

After Day 5, Germany leads the medal tally with five golds, followed by Norway and Sweden, who have four gold medals apiece. The Netherlands and China are in the fourth and fifth position with three golds each.

Eight gold medals will be contested in Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, figure skating, freestyle skiing, luge, snowboard and speed skating.

Expectations are running high for two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, who will have to bet his luck on a successful quadruple axel in free skate after only finishing eighth in short program on Tuesday, 18.82 points behind the leader.

The women's snowboard halfpipe will also be an eye-catching showpiece as American talent Chloe Kim seeks to defend her title. The 21-year-old will face challenges from Japan's teenage Mitsuki Ono and China's veteran Cai Xuetong, who finished in the second and third place in the qualification after Kim.

Post with no comments.