Tuesday, August 21, 2018 | ePaper

First gold goes to Sweden, Koreas in spotlight

  • Print


Gold medal winner Charlotte Kalla of Sweden is flanked by silver medal winner Marit Bjoergen of Norway (left) and bronze medal winner Krista Parmakoski of Finland pose after the women's 7.5km /7.5km skiathlon cross-country skiing competition at the 2018

AFP, South Korea :
Sweden's Charlotte Kalla claimed the first gold of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics but the spotlight on Saturday was expected to fall on the unified Korean hockey team.
Kalla won the women's skiathlon cross country race ahead of Norway's Marit Bjoergen, preventing her from collecting an unprecedented third straight gold medal in the event.
But Bjoergen still became the most decorated woman in Winter Olympics history as she claimed her 11th medal. Third came Finland's Krista Parmakoski.
The gold medal was one of five on offer on the first day of full competition, in which the unified Korean women's ice hockey team which make their debut against Switzerland.
The Korean squad have been written off as contenders in the Olympic women's tournament.
But they symbolise the sense of rapprochement between the two Koreas, highlighted at Friday's Olympic opening ceremony when athletes from both sides of the heavily fortified border marched together into the stadium for the opening ceremony.
They were watched by the North's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam and the sister of the North leader Kim Jong Un, the first Kim dynasty member to venture south since the 1950-53 Korean War.
The mood of reconciliation strengthened Saturday with North Korea's Kim inviting South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Pyeongchang for a summit at the earliest opportunity.
Twelve North Korean hockey players have been drafted in to the South Korean squad to form the unified team but they are not expected to progress in the tournament despite the vocal support from North Korea's all-female band of cheerleaders.
The North's head of state Kim will also attend the hockey clash between the Koreas and Switzerland along with the South's President Moon while it is unsure whether Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of the North Korean leader, will join them.
They are rank outsiders in the tournament for which they only qualified by virtue of being the host nation, and are likely to suffer defeat against the Swiss. The first gold medal of the 2018 Olympics was expected to go to Bjoergen, world champion in the event, who claimed gold in Vancouver in 2010 and again in Sochi four years later.
But the 37-year-old lost out by 7.8sec to Kalla, who won in 40min 44.9sec.
Gold medals will also be decided Saturday in speed skating, short-track speed skating, ski jumping and biathlon.
In speed skating, the racer to watch is Dutchwoman Ireen Wust, hoping to repeat her victories in 2006 and 2014 with a win in the women's 3000m.
Wust could also become only the second Dutch athlete to successfully defend an Olympic title since the legendary Sven Kramer's back-to-back golds at 5000m in 2010 and 2014.
Short-track speed skating makes its Pyeongchang debut with South Korea's best hope for a haul of gold medals, Choi Min-jeong, starting her campaign with the 500m qualifiers.
In biathlon, in-form Anastasia Kuzmina of Slovakia, is tipped to take the sprint title for the third time following victories at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics.

More News For this Category

Baki, Risalatul exit from qualifying round of 10m Air Rifle

UNB, Dhaka :Bangladesh shooters Abdullah Hel Baki and Risalatul Islam made their exits from qualifying round of the 10meter Air Rifle Men event in the 18th Asian Games Shooting at

Bangladesh deny Oman 2-1

UNB, Dhaka :Bangladesh men's hockey team started their campaign in the 18th Asian Games denying Oman by 2-1 goals in the Pool-B match at the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK)

Japan swim queen Ikee targets Asian Games records

AFP, Jakarta :Japanese Olympic hope Rikako Ikee topped the time-sheets in the women's 100 metres freestyle and 50m butterfly heats at the Asian Games on Monday, but was still

Mixed day for kabaddi in Asian Games

BSS, Dhaka :Bangladesh men's kabaddi team shrugged off their previous match defeat as they beat Thailand by 34-22 points in their second group match at the 18th Asian Games

AG Shooting

UNB, Dhaka :Bangladesh shooters Ummey Zakia Sultana and Sharmin Akter Ratna were out of the race from the qualifying round of the 10meter Air Rifle Women event in the 18th

Djokovic wins Cincy title to complete Masters matched set

Djokovic wins Cincy title to complete Masters matched set

AFP, Cincinnati :Novak Djokovic ended a career-long jinx, lifting the trophy in Cincinnati at last to complete a matched set of Masters 1000 titles.Djokovic, who came up empty in

 Kiki Bertens upsets Simona Halep to win title

Kiki Bertens upsets Simona Halep to win title

BBC Online :Kiki Bertens held off a championship point to upset world number one Simona Halep and win the Cincinnati Masters.The 26-year-old world number 17 came from behind to

Simone Biles wins record fifth US all-around title

Olympic champion Simone Biles became the first woman to win five US Women's Gymnastics Championships all-around titles and wore an outfit to show her support for survivors of sexual

C.T. Pan (right) puts his arm around his wife and caddie Michelle Lin (left) on thew 18th hole during the final round of the Wyndham Championship golf tournament at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C. on Sunday.

C.T. Pan (right) puts his arm around his wife and caddie Michelle Lin (left) on thew 18th hole during the final round of the Wyndham Championship golf tournament at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C. on Sunday.

.

Man Utd fans should be 'mad', admits Pogba

AFP, London :Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba believes the club's fans have every right to vent their anger after a first-half collapse saw the Red Devils beaten 3-2 by