BEIJING – The latest Winter Olympics in Beijing:
The USA is out of the men’s hockey tournament at the Olympics in a fantastic way after blowing a late lead.
Slovakia beat the United States 3-2 in a shootout on Wednesday to beat the top-seeded Americans in the quarterfinals. Canada left hours behind the United States with a 2-0 loss to Sweden.
It is the first Olympic semi-final without the United States and Canada since 2006.
The USA led almost half of the match before the equalizer when Slovakia pulled their goalkeeper for an extra striker to play 6-on-5. Slovakia striker Juraj Slafkovsky scored his tournament-leading fifth goal of the tournament.
The Russians and Finland also advanced to the semifinals.
The Associated Press has learned that IOC President Thomas Bach offered American figure skaters Olympic torches as leftover gifts while awaiting a solution to the Russian doping case that prevents them from receiving their silver medals.
Two people familiar with the events told the Associated Press late on Wednesday that in a private meeting with skaters in Beijing, Bach reiterated the IOC’s position that no medals would be held for events involving Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva. The people did not want their names used because the meeting was confidential.
Officials from the International Olympic Committee did not immediately respond to an email request from the AP.
Mr Nathan Chen and the United States finished second to Russia in the team competition last week, but the result was quickly thrown into chaos when reports surfaced that Valieva had used a banned drug.
The Sports Arbitration Court ruled that Valieva was still eligible to compete in this week’s women’s event while her case went through the anti-doping system. That case will ultimately determine the status of the medals. Valieva led the women’s competition after the short program.
The US curling team for women is out of the Olympics. The men have another chance to advance to the playoffs at the Beijing Games.
Tabitha Peterson’s foursome lost 10-7 to Japan on Wednesday night in their round-robin final. That lowered the Americans to 4-5 at the Winter Games.
Switzerland (7-1) had already qualified and the reigning gold medalist Sweden (6-2) joined them with an 8-5 victory over Russia. There are five teams vying for the remaining two places: 2018 bronze medalist Japan (5-3) and ’18 silver medalist South Korea (4-4) along with Canada (4-4), Great Britain (4-4) and China (4 -5).
The American men will have a chance to repeat as gold medalists – as long as they beat Denmark in the last round-robin session on Thursday morning.
After eight out of nine games played, the Americans are 4-4 and are in fourth place in the race for the four places in the semifinals of the Olympic Games in Beijing. Great Britain and Sweden are already 7-1, and Canada also took place with an 8-6 victory over Russia on Wednesday.
John Shuster’s foursome would reach the playoffs with a victory over the last place in Denmark. They could also advance if they lose, but they would need help.
International Testing Agency says cross-country skier Valnetyna Kaminska has tested positive for doping with a steroid and a banned stimulant.
Valentyna Kaminska already competed in all three of her competitions at the Beijing Olympics and did not come close to the medals.
The 34-year-old athlete is competing for Ukraine now after representing Belarus at the 2014 and 2018 Winter Games.
ITA says that Kaminska’s sample taken on Thursday tested positive for mesterolone and heptaminol.
She is now temporarily suspended from all competitions pending a prosecution in her doping case.
It is the second doping test taken at the Beijing Olympics to test positive. The first involved alpine skier Hossein Saveh Shemshaki from Iran. The disputed case of the Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva involves a test taken before the Olympics.
Susanna Tapani scored her team-leading sixth goal, Anni Keisala stopped 15 shots and Finland took their fourth Olympic women’s hockey bronze with a 4-0 victory over Switzerland.
Wednesday night’s victory gave Finland a bronze medal in the successive Olympics.
Viivi Vainikka and Nelli Laitinen also scored in a rematch of last year’s World Cup bronze medal match, which Finland won 3-1. The Finns bounced back from a 3-2 loss to the Swiss in the preliminary round.
Swiss Andrea Braendli stopped 34 of the first 35 she met, and 43 in total in a match that the Finns pulled away by scoring three goals in the third period. The Swiss came up short in an attempt to match their best finish at the Sochi Games in 2014, when they beat Sweden and won the bronze medal.
Vainikka opened the scoring 11:38 into the first period by driving to the net and slipping in a loose puck after Braendli stopped a shot from Noora Tulus. Tapani scored on a 2-on-1 break with shorthanded 3:24 into the third period. Laitinen and Karvinen sealed the victory with a powerplay goal in the final 5:36.
Keisala finished the tournament with 173 of 189 shots, while appearing in all seven matches. Her best save against Switzerland came halfway through the second period, when she got up the glove to stop Lena Marie Lutz’s shot on a break.
On Thursday, the defending Olympic champion USA and Canada meet in the gold medal game for the sixth time in seven tournaments.
Choi Minjeong from South Korea has successfully defended her Olympic title in the 1,500 meters short track skating.
She won in 2 minutes, 17,789 seconds, which extended the tradition that an Asian woman won the competition.
Arianna Fontana from Italy took silver with two thousandths of a second over Suzanne Schulting from the Netherlands.
It was Fontana’s eleventh Olympic medal of her career and third in Beijing. The most decorated short track skier in history also won 500 and took silver in the mixed team relay.
Schulting won his fourth medal in Beijing. She finished second in the 500, won 1,000 and won the 3,000 relay.
Canada has won the 5,000-meter short course in short-distance skating.
The team with Charles Hamelin, Steven Dubois, Jordan Pierre-Gilles and Pascal Dion went clean on Wednesday night to take their nation’s eighth gold medal in the 45-lap race with a time of 6 minutes, 41,257 seconds.
At the age of 37, Hamelin broke his own record as the oldest male short-distance skier to win an Olympic medal. It was his sixth career medal, making him Canada’s most decorated male Olympian.
South Korea won silver. Italy took bronze.
Dubois took his third medal in Beijing. He finished second in 1,500 and third in 500.
China crashed later in the race, much to the dismay of fans at the Capital Indoor Stadium, waving the host country’s flag.
Suzanne Schulting from the Netherlands has advanced to the final in the 1,500 meter short track skating.
She won her semifinal in an attempt to earn her fourth Olympic medal in Beijing. No non-Asian woman has ever won this event.
Defending Olympic champion Choi Minjeong from South Korea took a six from the outside with a big pull on the outside to take the lead with two laps left of the semifinals. She set an Olympic record of 2 minutes, 16,831 seconds.
Arianna Fontana from Italy, Lee Yubin from South Korea, Hanne Desmet from Belgium, Xandra Velzeboer from the Netherlands and Han Yutong from China will also make it to the A-final.
The B final includes such big names as Kim Boutin and Courtney Sarault from Canada and Kim A Lang from South Korea. American Kristen Santos advanced when another skater was punished.
American skaters Corinne Stoddard and Julie Letai were eliminated.
Elvira Oeberg anchored the Swedish team to Olympic gold in the relay for four people in biathlon, went fast and shot clean to win her third medal in the Beijing Games.
Oeberg, who also took silver in the sprint and hunting races in his Olympic debut, put the Swedes over the line in 1 hour, 11 minutes, 3.9 seconds.
The Russian biathlete Uliana Nigmatullina followed Oeberg by about 24 seconds after the last shooting range and finished 12 seconds behind for silver. Denise Herrmann finished third and gave Germany bronze, 37.4 seconds behind Oeberg. Herrmann also won gold in the individual race.
Germany, Sweden and Italy went out early in the 4×6-kilometer race and the teams mixed positions several times, but the Swedes had the most consistent shooting.
Norway finished fourth, 50.7 seconds behind.