Pyeongchang 2018 Review of Day 9
Marcel Hirscher needed an Olympic gold medal to elevate him to the pantheon of the greatest skiers, and he now has two, after adding giant slalom to his Alpine combined title from last week, with his margin of victory being almost a second and a half. If he wins the slalom on Thursday, he will enter the stratosphere, alongside those previous triple winners, his Austrian predecessor Toni Sailer, and Jean-Claude Killy of France.
Already in the same bracket as Killy is Martin Fourcade of Team World, for whom gold in the mass start in biathlon was his fourth Olympic title, one more than his illustrious compatriot. Finland’s ice hockey team did less well, losing to Sweden in a hard-fought contest for a bye to the quarter-finals. Instead, a play-off against South Korea awaits.
Among the non-traditional nations which topped podiums yesterday was Japan, for whom Yuzuru Hanyu overcame his injury problems to retain his figure skating title. It doubled its tally today when Nao Kodaira claimed victory in the 500m speed skating.
Otherwise the winter sport giants reasserted themselves, especially Norway, which won in freestyle skiing slopestyle and the men’s cross country relay. It is now equal with Germany in gold medals and, with more silvers, it leads the medal table overall.
On the other hand, Germany is pushing back in bobsleigh, where it holds 1st, 3rd and 5th place overnight in the men’s two-man. South Korea, on behalf of Team World, was disadvantaged by the initial running order, but improved on the second run to lie 9th.