China wins first gold at PyeongChang Games while US ends 20-year gold medal drought in women's ice hockey

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-22 23:41:45|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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Wu Dajing (L) of China celebrates victory after men's 500m final of short track speed skating at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena, Gangneung, South Korea, Feb. 22, 2018. Wu Dajing claimed gold medal in a time of 0:39.584 and set new world record. (Xinhua/Han Yan)

By Sportswriter Wang Jimin

PYEONGCHANG, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Star skater Wu Dajing won China's first gold medal at the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games by breaking world record in short track men's 500m while the United States ended its 20-year gold medal drought in women's ice hockey on Thursday.

In the sprint race, world No. 1 Wu doninated the whole race and never looked back, breaking world record twice in the quarterfinals and final. The 23-year-old's winning time is 39.584 seconds, 0.216 faster than the former record he set earlier in the quarterfinals.

It is the first gold medal of the Chinese delegation at these Games after winning five silver and two bronze medals with 12 days into the actions.

"Do I look peaceful now? Actually I still feel very emotional inside. On the ice I just want to leave all that I have out there. I don't want to give my opponents any chances," said Wu at the press conference.

"I didn't think so much about the world record. I just thought about how to get through each round. This competition was very tough and I kept trying to give myself confidence and I've been working hard. The team has also been very supportive and has been counselling and encouraging me outside of competition," said Wu, the silver medalist of Sochi 2014.

Meanwhile, the US women's ice hockey team ended a 20-year gold medal drought by beating archrival and four-time champion Canada 3-2 in a shootout thriller.

The two powerhouses have traded world titles and Olympic medals since the 1990s. They have also been the only two women's ice hockey teams ever to win an Olympic gold medal.

The Americans hit top gear first and lead the opener 1-0, but defending champion Canada came from behind strong to score two points in the second period. The determined Americans brought the game to overtime with a goal by Monqiue Lamoureux-Morando.

In the thrilling penalty shootout, Maddie Rooney, the 20-year-old American goalie, came up with one final stop to the goal by Meghan Agosta, and the US nailed the victory 3-2.

"It is everything for our country. I can't tell you how happy I am for our players. I am just so thankful for the outcome. It was a thrilling final, it was unreal," said US head coach Robb Stauber.

Earlier in the day, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) confirmed that the Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) curler Alexander Krushelnitsky has been found guilty of an anti-doping violation after testing positive for the banned substance meldonium.

CAS said in a statement that the curler is disqualified from the mixed doubles curling event at the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games and the results obtained by the team at the event are disqualified too.

Krushelnitsky, who won the bronze medal with his wife, had accepted a provisional suspension beyond the period of the Games had "reserved his rights to seek the elimination or reduction of any period of ineligibility" following the Games.

Elsewhere, Swedish Alpine skier Andre Myhrer won the gold medal of men's slalom that saw Austrian great Marcel Hirscher miss a gate in the first run.

Myhrer posted a competition-leading time of 1 minute and 38.99 seconds after two runs. He followed in the footsteps of legendary Ingemar Stenmark as the only Swedish men to win gold in Alpine skiing. Stenmark won gold in the slalom and giant slalom in 1980.

"It means everything," Myhrer talked about winning gold medal.

There were also wins for Michelle Gisin of Switzerland, who won the women's Alpine combined gold, and Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands, who won the women's 1,000m in a time of one minutes 29.778 seconds.

"I really can't believe it. It's incredible that it just happened today. I was just enjoying the final at first and I think that's why I won the gold, because I was enjoying it so much," said Schulting.

Besides, Hungary is the surprise winner of the men's 5,000m relay in the last event of short track speed skating at the Pyeongchang Olympics and Germany won the gold medal in the Nordic combined team event, adding to its dominance of the sport.

With just three days to go, Norway now leads the medals table on 13 gold, 12 silver and 10 bronze medals while Germany is second with 13 gold, 7 silver and 5 bronze medals.

KEY WORDS: PyeongChang