The Latest: Alpine skiing finally underway at Winter Games

The Latest: Alpine skiing finally underway at Winter Games
The Associated Press

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

11:50 a.m.

Alpine skiing is finally under way under blue skies and sunshine at the wind-buffeted Pyeongchang Olympics.

Thomas Dressen of Germany was the first racer in the downhill portion of the men’s Alpine combined event in Jeongseon.

The wind is again a factor after forcing organizers to postpone other events earlier in the week.

Gusts higher up the mountain forced organizers to lower the start, cutting 20 seconds from the run. The gates were also moved to let racers take a safer line cresting the jumps.

The third starter, Russian Pavel Trikhichev, crashed out and slid into the safety fences after his left ski hooked a gate. The race was delayed. Trikhichev, the only Russian athlete in the race, was able to stand but it’s not clear how badly he was hurt.

A slalom leg will be raced in the afternoon, and the Olympic champion is the skier with the fastest combined time.

Men’s combined was supposed to be the third event on the Alpine program. The men’s downhill and women’s giant slalom have been postponed until Thursday.

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11:35 a.m.

Chloe Kim’s coronation is complete.

The 17-year-old from Torrance, California, dominated the Olympic women’s halfpipe snowboarding final on Tuesday, soaring to a gold medal four years in the making.

Kim put up a score of 93.75 on the first of her three finals runs and then bettered it with a near-perfect 98.75 on her final run with the gold already well in hand. With members of her family in the stands, including her South Korean grandmother, Kim put on a show that delivered on her considerable pre-Olympic hype.

Liu Jiayu took silver with an 89.75 to become the first Chinese snowboarder to medal at the Olympics.

American Arielle Gold, who pondered retirement last summer, edged teammate and three-time Olympic medalist Kelly Clark for bronze.

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11:10 a.m.

American teenager Chloe Kim is closing in on a gold medal in women’s halfpipe snowboarding.

The 17-year-old from California posted a score of 93.75 during the first of her three runs in the finals, easily topping the field of a dozen riders.

Kim threw down an electric run, throwing in a triple-twisting spin halfway through at sun-splashed Phoenix Snow Park.

Kim was the only rider to post a score over 90 during the first two rounds.

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10:50 a.m.

A team of Russian athletes have won the bronze medal in mixed doubles curling after beating Norway 8-4 and recovering from a rare tumble on the ice.

The Russians’ win on Tuesday gives them the distinction of nabbing the first-ever Olympic medal in mixed doubles curling. The event is making its Olympic debut in Pyeongchang.

The most dramatic moment of the match came in the third end, or round. Russia’s Anastasia Bryzgalova was strategizing with her teammate Aleksandr Krushelnitckii when she suddenly seemed to lose her footing. She recovered but seconds later, her foot went flying out from under her. She promptly landed on her backside.

It is very rare for a curler to fall in professional curling.

Canada will face off against Switzerland later Tuesday in the mixed doubles gold medal match.

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10:45 a.m.

Alpine ski racing is finally set to begin at the Pyeongchang Olympics, though high winds will mean shorter-than-expected courses.

Organizers say the downhill run that opens the men’s Alpine combined event at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in South Korea (9:30 p.m. Monday EST) will start lower down the mountain at Jeongseon due to gusts at the scheduled start house.

The downhill should begin on time at the lower start used for the super-G. That will shorten the run by about 20 seconds.

It means the afternoon slalom run that concludes the combined will also be shortened, by about 10 gates. That will help balance the race as an equal test for the downhill and slalom specialists.

Men’s combined is the first medal race after high winds at two different venues forced the men’s downhill and women’s giant slalom to be postponed until Thursday.

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10:30 a.m.

The first doping case of the Pyeongchang Olympics has been announced.

Japanese short-track speedskater Kei Saito has tested positive for acetalozamide, a diuretic that is also a masking agent which can disguise the use of other banned substances.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport says Saito “accepted on a voluntary basis to be provisionally suspended and to leave the Olympic Village.”

Saito did not race in any event before the test result from a pre-competition sample was confirmed.

CAS says its judging panel handling Olympic doping cases will issue a final verdict after the games are over.

The highest court in world sports handles the prosecution of doping cases, and the International Olympic Committee is responsible for testing athletes.

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10 a.m.

There’s been a highly unusual moment in the Olympic mixed doubles bronze medal match, with a Russian curler falling hard on her backside.

Russia’s Anastasia Bryzgalova was standing with her teammate Aleksandr Krushelnitckii and strategizing over where to send their last rock of the third end, or round, of Tuesday’s match. Suddenly, she seemed to lose her footing. She recovered, but seconds later, her foot went flying out from under her. She promptly landed on her backside.

The fall drew gasps from the stunned crowd. It is very rare for a curler to fall in professional curling.

Russia is playing Norway for the bronze medal in mixed doubles.

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9:30 a.m.

U.S. snowboarder Chloe Kim will vie for an Olympic medal in the women’s halfpipe and skiers may finally get to compete in the first Alpine event of the Pyeongchang Winter Games.

Russia and Norway are also facing off for a bronze medal in Olympic curling as Day 4 gets underway Tuesday.

Kim, a California teenager whose parents are from South Korea, was close to her best in leading the qualifying round Monday. American Kelly Clark, a three-time Olympic medalist, barely qualified and is hoping for a better day.

The men’s combined is scheduled for Tuesday and could be the first Alpine event of these games. The men’s downhill and women’s giant slalom both have been postponed because of gusty winds.

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