Bjoerndalen becomes most-successful winter Olympian | News | DW | 19.02.2014
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Bjoerndalen becomes most-successful winter Olympian

Norwegian Ole-Einar Bjoerndalen has become the most-successful winter Olympian after winning gold in the biathlon mixed relay. In hockey, it was disappointment for the hosts as the Russian men's team were eliminated.

Bjoerndalen and teammates Tora Berger, Tiril Eckhoff and Emil Helge Svendsen captured gold on Wednesday, while the Czech Republic finished with silver and Italy grabbed gold.

The medal means Bjoerndalen, 40, passes compatriot Bjoern Daehlie as the most successful Olympian of all time with eight gold medals, four silvers and one bronze. Bjoerndalen, who also has 19 world championship titles, won his first Olympic gold medal at the 1998 Games in Nagano.

The German team of Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle, Laura Dahlmeier, Daniel Böhm and Simon Schempp finished just short of a medal in fourth place.

Hockey disappointment for hosts

Russia's much-hyped men's ice hockey team were dumped out of the Olympic tournament on Wednesday after losing 3-1 to Finland.

Goals from Teemu Selanne and Mikael Granlund helped to silence the home crowd at the Bolshoy Ice Dome. Ilya Kovalchuk's early power-play goal was the only time Russia managed to get the best of Finland goalie Tuukka Rask, who made 37 saves.

The loss extends Russia's gold medal dry spell. The country hasn't won an Olympic title since the 1992 Games in Albertville, when they competed as the Unified Team of ex-Soviet states.

Neureuther competes

German skier Felix Neureuther took to the icy men's giant slalom course just five days after an accident in Munich on his way to the airport for his flight to Sochi. After the first run, he was within shouting distance of the podium, but a few small mistakes in the second ride meant there would be no Olympic medal this race for the 29-year-old. His final time of 2 minutes, 46.59 seconds placed him eighth overall.

The car accident left Neureuther whiplashed and with two bruised ribs. He had complained of pain in his neck during training in Sochi on Monday but did not show any signs of being held back by his injury.

"I tried, really tried," Neureuther told German public broadcaster ZDF after the race, "but you notice that I've spent the last five days just lying down. I think it was the right decision to start. It was a good test for Saturday" - when he gets a shot in another slalom event.

Russland Olympiade Sotschi 2014 Ski Slalom Ted Ligety

Ligety didn't disappoint on Wednesday

After Stefan Luitz straddled the final gate in the first run of the event - resulting in a disqualification - Fritz Dopfer was Germany's only other medal hopeful, but he came up short as well, placing 12th.

On a course with wide distances between gates that favored his excellent carving ability, the favorite, Ted Ligety from the United States, blew away the rest of the field by nearly a half second to take the gold medal.

Rounding out the podium were Steve Missillier and Alexis Pinturault, both of France, with silver and bronze, respectively.

Medals for Russian couple

In the men's snowboard parallel giant slalom, Germany's Patrick Bussler finished with a bronze behind Slovenia's Zan Kosir, who won silver, and the gold medal winner, Vic Wild of Russia.

In the women's competition, Switzerland's Patrizia Kummer won gold after her main rival, Japan's Tomoka Takeuchi, fell in the final heat and had to settle for silver. Russia's Alena Zavarzina - the wife of men's gold medalist Wild - took bronze.

Bjoergen wins gold again

Norway's Marit Bjoergin won her second gold of the Sochi Games in the team sprint with Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg. The victory was her fifth Olympic gold in total.

"it was incredible," said Bjoergin, who helped Norway finish ahead of Finland and Sweden respectively. "I didn't think it would be possible to fight for the gold medal but we had perfect skis - the waxing guys did a great job."

Finland came first in the men's event during a race marred by the fall of a German skier. Russia and Sweden grabbed silver and bronze respectively, while Norway could only manage fourth place.

Tim Tscharnke hit the ground after running into Sami Jauhojaervi. The Finnish skier changed his line just before the final sprint, and Tscharnke complained it caused him to fall. The Germans lodged a formal protest, but it was dismissed by the ruling body FIS and Germany finished seventh.

Sablikova defends title

Czech speed skater Martina Sablikova defended her Olympic title in the women's 5,000 meters, setting a new track record at the Adler Arena with a time of 6 minutes, 51.54 seconds.

She kept the Netherlands off the podium's top spot, but a Dutch duo finished second and third. Ireen Wust collected silver with a time of 6 minutes 54.28 seconds, while Carien Kleibeuker took bronze in 6 minutes 55.66 seconds.

Bobsled gold for Canada

Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse brought home gold for Canada in the women's bobsled. The pair clocked a combined time of 50.61 seconds, beating the USA-1 team by just 0.1 second to grab their second consecutive Olympic title in the event.

By winning silver, American Lauryn Williams became the first woman to win a medal at both the Summer and Winter Olympics. Williams, the brakewoman on the sled piloted by Elana Meyers, was a silver medalist at the 2004 Athens Games and was a member of the gold-medal relay team at the 2012 Olympics in London.

The USA-2 team of Jamie Greubel and Aja Evans finished third on Wednesday to earn bronze.

mz,dr/lw (AP, Reuters, dpa, AFP)