The Latest: Shiffrin is in 4th position after 1st slalom run

Posted at 8:26 PM, Feb 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-15 17:04:23-05

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) - The Latest on the Pyeongchang Olympics (all times local):

11:10 a.m.

Mikaela Shiffrin is in fourth position after her opening run of the slalom and remains within striking distance to capture a second straight gold medal at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The 22-year-old American turned in a steady performance and sits 0.48 seconds behind leader Wendy Holdener of Switzerland heading into the final run Thursday afternoon. There are seven racers all within a second of Holdener.

Shiffrin won the giant slalom on Thursday. She won the slalom four years ago at the Sochi Games.


10:55 a.m.

Vincent Zhou became the first figure skater to land a quad lutz in Olympic competition when the 17-year-old American hit the four-rotation jump leading into a triple toeloop to open his short program.

Two other skaters are trying the quad lutz in the short program. More will try in the free skate.

Zhou first landed the quad lutz during his warmup, while he was waiting for the scores of France's Chafik Besseghier to be read. Zhou says he's always attempted a difficult jump just before his program to get his legs under him, and that it was a quad salchow before he learned the quad lutz last year.

Zhou scored a season-best 82.53 points Friday, easily the best of the first group of skaters.


10:45 a.m.

Markus Schairer of Austria is heading home for treatment after breaking his neck in a frightening crash during the Olympic men's snowboardcross quarterfinals.

Schairer lost control in the air on the final jump of the treacherous downhill course on Thursday. He slammed into the snow on his back, sending his goggles flying. He was able to get to his feet before being taken for a medical exam.

The Austrian Olympic Committee says Schairer fractured the fifth vertebrae in his neck. It says there is no indication the 30-year-old Schairer experienced any neurological impairment or long-term damage.


10:25 a.m.

The men's short program is underway at Gangneung Ice Arena, where American figure skater Nathan Chen hopes to land his array of quads that could allow him to challenge for an Olympic medal.

Chen will skate in the final group with reigning Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, Spanish star Javier Fernandez, Chinese contender Jin Boyang and Japanese sensation Shoma Uno.

Vincent Zhou and Adam Rippon are also competing for the U.S.

The short program scores will be combined with the free skate Saturday to determine the medals.


10:10 a.m.

Mikaela Shiffrin was steady in the opening run of the slalom as she tries to win a second straight gold medal at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The 22-year-old American was the fourth racer to take the course and wound up 0.48 seconds behind current leader Wendy Holdener of Switzerland.

Shiffrin showed no hint of fatigue after winning the giant slalom a day earlier. She won the Olympic slalom four years ago in Sochi.


9:35 a.m.

Call it a good news-bad news scenario for Gus Kenworthy.

The outspoken freestyle skier broke his thumb in training on Thursday.

He tweeted out a picture of his X-Ray, along with one of his freshly casted hand and included this quip: "It won't stop me from competing (obvi) but it does prevent me from shaking Pence's hand so ... Silver linings!"

Kenworthy, who came out as gay about two years after his silver medal win at the Sochi Games, has been openly critical of U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who was in South Korea for the start of the games.

Kenworthy has previously said he would not go to the White House as part of the traditional visit the U.S. Olympic team makes after the Olympics.


9:30 a.m.

American Mikaela Shiffrin is set to compete in the women's slalom for what would be her second gold medal of the Pyeongchang Olympics, and Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal will go for a second medal, in the men's super-G, as Day 7 gets underway.

Both skiers won medals Thursday, Shiffrin in the giant slalom and Svindal in the men's downhill. Both races had been scheduled for earlier in the games but were delayed due to high winds.

Also Friday, the men's figure-skating competition starts with the short program. Medals will be awarded after the free skate Saturday. Reigning Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan will be the first skater in the final group, followed by American star Nathan Chen, Russian skater Mikhail Kolyada and countryman Shoma Uno.


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