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The Latest Gusty Winds Close Media Work Tent At Olympics

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The Latest on the Pyeongchang Olympics (all times local):

3:20 p.m.

The winds are so strong at the Pyeongchang Olympics that officials are closing the media work tent outside the Kwandong Hockey Center ahead of a game between Japan and Korea.

An official asked reporters and photographers to move to work locations inside the hockey rink Wednesday because the media tent was being closed.

Winds are blowing steadily around 23 mph (37 kph) with stiffer gusts rattling and shaking the giant tent anchored with metal beams in Gangneung.

A heavy contingent of media is at the Kwandong Hockey Center for the women’s hockey game between Japan and Korea. The two countries have a long and bitter history.

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3 p.m.

Switzerland has edged Sweden 2-1 to take the top spot in Group B of women’s hockey at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The win ensures Switzerland, the 2014 bronze medalist, will face either Finland or the Russians on Saturday in the quarterfinals.

Phoebe Staenz scored the game-winner at 11:28 of the third period. Alina Muller also had a goal and an assist, and Christine Meier had two assists. Goalie Florence Schelling made 33 saves for an Olympic record with her ninth career win, breaking a tie with Canada’s Kim St. Pierre.

Muller gave Switzerland a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 13:51 of the second period for her tournament-best sixth goal.

Sweden, which hasn’t medaled since taking silver in 2006 at Turin, tied it with Anna Borgqvist’s power-play goal at 7:35 of the third.

Staenz scored on the power-play to keep the Swiss undefeated. They beat Sweden to win bronze in 2014.

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2:30 p.m.

Next stop is Tokyo in 2020 for the oompah band Kleintje Pils, aka “the Dutch giants on clogs” at the Pyeongchang Games.

It will be full circle if they make it to the Summer Games in two years’ time. The brass band, known for their stirring renditions of classics like Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” started out at the 1998 Nagano Games in Japan.

The Dutch already reign supreme on the ice at the speedskating oval and on Wednesday, Kleintje Pils, which translates to “Small Beer,” took the infield again.

“Just before leaving for Korea, we studied the song ‘Gangnam Style’ and it has become our biggest hit here,” said Ruud Bakker, who wields a bass drum. “Koreans may be subdued, but this gets them going.”

Decked out in their orange-striped shirts, casual pants and wooden shoes, Kleintje Pils had its first performance at a hockey match. “The fans are different. They raised the roof,” said Bakker.

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1:55 p.m.

The Chinese pair of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong led Russian skaters Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov by less than a point after the short program in the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Sui and Han scored a season-best 82.39 points Wednesday to a breathtaking, almost ethereal version of the Leonard Cohen song “Hallelujah.” They embraced on their knees as the music came to an end, holding the pose for a moment as the crowd roared its approval.

Tarasova and Morozov scored 81.68 points to a piano concerto by Rachmaninov to keep them in contention heading into Thursday’s free skate.

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada were third with 76.82 points. That was less than a point ahead of German favorites Aliona Savchenkno and Bruno Massot.

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12:15 p.m.

Snowboarder Shaun White has won America’s 100th Winter Olympic gold medal, throwing down a spectacular final run in the men’s halfpipe.

The United States is only the second country to win 100 winter golds. It trails Norway, which started Wednesday with 121. Germany is third with 92.

White’s gold was the fourth for the U.S. in Pyeongchang. The others came from snowboarders Red Gerard, Jamie Anderson and Chloe Kim. America has won 14 gold medals in snowboarding since its Olympic debut in 1998, the most of any country.

This is White’s third gold medal and first since 2010. He ranks third among Americans in individual winter gold medals, trailing only speedskaters Bonnie Blair and Eric Heiden, who have five each.

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12:05 p.m.

Snowboarding star Shaun White is a three-time Olympic champion.

The American threw down a spectacular final run in men’s halfpipe to slip by Japan’s Ayumu Hirano. White’s score of 97.75 was a touch better than Hiramo’s 95.25.

The gold medal is the 100th overall gold for the United States in the Winter Olympics, and White is the first American male to win gold at three separate Winter Games.

Australia’s Scotty James took bronze.

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11:50 a.m.

The North Korean pairs team of Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sink have scored a season-best 69.40 points to briefly move into second place during the short program at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

North Korea’s only pair drew cheers from a large block of uniformly dressed fans for even the most simple of elements in practice. Then, they neatly landed their opening triple twist lift, hit a triple toe and throw triple loop, and were showered afterward with flowers from their fans.

The couple dressed in silver and black and performed to a cover of the Beatles song “A Day in the Life” by English rock guitarist Jeff Beck. They were the 10th among 22 teams to take the ice inside the Gangneung Ice Arena and all the medal contenders were still to come.

Still, their score qualified them for the free skate on Thursday.

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11:40 a.m.

Japan’s Ayumu Hirano has vaulted past Shaun White and into first place in the men’s halfpipe final.

The 19-year-old Hirano put up a score of 95.25 during his second run to edge past White. Hirano washed out in his first run but responded by throwing back-to-back 1440-degree spins during his second run.

White, attempting to become the first American to win gold in three different Winter Olympics, sat down on his second run to remain in second.

White will get one last shot to surpass Ayumu. White will be the final rider to go in the 12-man final.

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11:20 a.m.

Mikaela Shiffrin’s debut at the wind-blown Pyeongchang Olympics has been postponed a second time.

Plans to run the slalom, with Shiffrin defending her title from 2014, have now been shelved, one hour after the original scheduled start at 10:15 a.m. South Korea time. There had been three delays in hope of waiting out the strong gusts. Now the race will be held Friday instead.

Shiffrin already had her giant slalom race postponed Monday at blustery Yongpyong. That race was moved to a Thursday slot, when winds are forecast to ease.

That creates a busy program for the next two days: Two women’s technical races at Yongpyong and two men’s speed races at Jeongseon, 30 miles (50 kilometers) away.

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11:15 a.m.

Harley Windsor became the first indigenous Australian to compete at the Winter Olympics when the pairs skater joined teammate Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya on the ice for their short program.

Windsor and his Russian-born partner were among the first pairs on the ice, and their total of 61.55 points was just off their season’s best. And it also meant a long wait to find out whether they made the cut from 22 pairs to 16 for Thursday’s free skate.

Windsor says he started to “feel a bit nervous” the night before competing, but he was happy with the performance. Both of the 21-year-old Windsor’s parents have Australian Aboriginal roots, and his mother Josie was cheering him on from the stands.

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11:05 a.m.

American snowboarder Shaun White is in the lead after one run in the men’s halfpipe final.

The two-time Olympic champion posted a score of 94.25 during his opening set, throwing a quadruple-twisting turn early in his run to set the benchmark at Phoenix Snow Park.

Australia’s Scotty James is second after putting up a 92.00. American Chase Josey is third. Japanese star Ayumu Hirano washed out on the first run.

Riders get three attempts down the slushy halfpipe, which softened overnight as temperatures rose.

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10:50 a.m.

The figure skating program at the Pyeongchang Olympics has resumed with the short program for the pairs competition, where the German pair of Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot are the favorites.

There will probably be just as many eyes on the North Koreans.

Security was a bit tighter at Gangneung Ice Arena on Wednesday than it was for the team event, most likely because of the presence of Ryom Tae Ok and Ju Sink. They were a strong third at last month’s Four Continents and placed 15th at last year’s world championships.

And yes, the North Korean cheerleaders are in attendance.

Other favorites include Russian pair Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, two-time world champs Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada, and Chinese pair Sui Wenjin and Han Cong.

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10:35 a.m.

Mikaela Shiffrin’s debut at the Pyeongchang Olympics is in a holding pattern with a third delay to the women’s slalom start.

Strong winds, and now some steady falling snow, have put the race at risk on the Rainbow course at Yongpyong.

The opening run is now scheduled to begin at 11:45 a.m. South Korea time on Wednesday (9:45 p.m. on the U.S. East Coast,) after two previous delays of 15 minutes from the original 10:15 a.m. start. The second leg could then start at 2:45 p.m.

Shiffrin, the defending champion, is due to wear the No. 3 starting bib in an 83-racer lineup.

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9:45 a.m.

Katie Couric has apologized for saying that the Dutch are so successful in speed skating because skates have been used as a form of transportation when canals freeze in the Netherlands.

Her remark during the Olympics’ opening ceremony invited some Dutch mockery on social media from people who said the information was outdated. The Netherlands embassy to the United States invited Couric to visit the country to see all of the innovative ways the Dutch get around.

Couric late Monday tweeted her apologies for being on thin ice with her comments.

The veteran anchor said she was trying to salute the country’s historic passion for the sport, but it didn’t come out that way.

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9:05 a.m.

The favorite in the men’s halfpipe is Shaun White.

The bookmakers at BetDSI Sportsbook have made White a better than even-money favorite to win his third gold medal. The American is listed at minus-125, meaning bettors would have to wager $125 to win $100 on a White victory.

He is followed by Australia’s Scotty James, at 3-1 ($100 to win $300), and Japan’s Ayumu Hirano, at 7-2 ($100 to win $350).

Hirano is coming off a Winter X Games title in which he became the first man to repeat 1440-degree flips on the halfpipe. White skipped the X Games, but scored a 100 on a run in an Olympic qualifier last month. James has been among the most technically perfect riders this season and finished a close second to Hirano and White at those earlier events.

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More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org

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Curling South Korea Stay Strong To Reach Final V Sweden

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GANGNEUNG, South Korea – Kim Eun-jung secured South Korea’s first Olympic curling medal with a pressure packed final shot to seal a nail-biting 8-7 extra-ends victory over Japan in the women’s semi-finals on Friday and set up a gold medal showdown with Sweden.

The Swedes scored a pair in the sixth and stole three in the seventh to thump Britain 10-5 and book their spot in the final for the fourth straight Winter Games.

Japan will play Britain for the bronze on Saturday while South Korea and Sweden will square off on Sunday for gold.

The only Asian nation to win an Olympic curling medal was China who took the women’s bronze at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

South Korea will top that, guaranteed at least a silver after a nervy victory over Japan secured when skip Kim Eun-jung delivered a nervy draw to the button for the winning point.

“In the round robins it was a bit pressure because we were not used to play games with big crowd,” Kim said.

”But as the games went on we could enjoy it and the crowd seemed to come here after studying rules so that was helpful for us.

“With this huge support, I thought there’s nothing we can’t do.”

The atmosphere inside a packed Gangneung Curling Centre was super-charged as the South Koreans, who have become internet and social media sensations, marched into the arena behind standard bearers in traditional Korean outfits.

Curling – Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics – Women’s Semi-final – South Korea v Japan – Gangneung Curling Center – Gangneung, South Korea – February 23, 2018 – Skip Eunjung Kim of South Korea watches the shot. REUTERS/John SibleyWhen the “Garlic Girls”, nicknamed after the county from which they hail that is known for garlic, were introduced the crowd cheered and let out a mighty roar after every shot.

After the Korean rink put a three on the scoreboard in the opening end it looked as if they might romp to victory but Japan would not buckle and when they took two in the ninth and stole another point in the 10th to level at 7-7 the crowd were on the edge of their seats.

RUMBLING STONE

Slideshow (8 Images)The tension built with every rock until ice-cool Kim settled in for her final shot and the arena fell silent, the only sound the stone rumbling across the ice.

With the bespectacled Kim barking commands to her sweepers the rock slowed to stop on the button and the crowd erupted as the foursome embraced and tears flowed.

After shaking hands with Japan the Korean foursome came together and bowed to the crowd, blowing kisses to wild applause as they walked off the ice.

As “Garlic Girls” mania swept the arena a high quality semi-final on another sheet between Sweden and Britain played out almost unnoticed.

Sweden, gold medal winners in 2006 and 2010 and silver medalists in 2014, took a 2-0 lead in the second end and battled Britain to a 3-3 draw after five.

But Swedes put away Eve Muirhead’s foursome with a pair in the six and stole three in the seventh to bring the contest to a quick end.

”The sixth end she made a fantastic shot for two and then in the seventh end of course coming up slightly light on that draw and nicking the guard was crucial,“ Muirhead said. ”That’s curling isn’t it.

“It comes down to inches and millimeters and there it was. But giving up a steal three, you’re going to be on the back foot.”

Additional reporting by Jane Chung,

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Ice Hockey Germany Stun Canada To Make First Final

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GANGNEUNG, South Korea – Germany shocked defending men’s ice hockey champions Canada 4-3 on Friday, beating the Canadian men on Olympic ice for the first time to reach their first gold medal game.

The Germans, who knocked out Sweden in the quarters, relied on a scrappy defense and opportunistic offense to squeeze past a Canadian team who had looked on course for a third straight Olympic final appearance even without their NHL players.

The win set up a gold medal game against the mighty Russians, who beat the Czech Republic 3-0 in Friday’s first semi-final.

“It’s unreal to get to play for gold,” German defenseman Frank Hordler said.

Ice Hockey – Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics – Men Semifinal Match – Canada v Germany – Gangneung Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea – February 23, 2018 – Germany’s players high five fans. REUTERS/Brian Snyder“It gives me goosebumps,” said forward Patrick Hager, who scored what would prove to be the game-winner.

It was a day of sporting ignominy for hockey-mad Canada, winners of the last two Olympic gold medals in men’s ice hockey.

Slideshow (6 Images)The Canadian men’s curling team were earlier shut out of the Olympic medals for the first time.

“A lot of guys have scars today,” Canadian forward Maxim Noreau said.

Germany built a 4-1 lead through the first two periods only to face a withering Canadian comeback in the third as they scored two goals in the first 10 minutes of the period.

But Canada fell one goal short despite peppering German goaltender Danny Aus den Birken with a barrage of shots until time ran out.

Additional reporting by Simon Jennings and Liana Baker,

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Manchester City Vs Arsenal: Raheem Sterling Is Major Injury Doubt For Carabao Cup Final Against Gunners, Reveals Pep Guardiola

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RAHEEM STERLING is an injury doubt for the Carabao Cup final Arsenal against Arsenal on Sunday.

The England winger missed the FA Cup defeat at Wigan on Monday night after reporting a tight hamstring in training.

Reuters Pep Guardiola has revealed Raheem Sterling is a doubt for the Carabao Cup final

Reuters The Manchester City winger is currently battling a minor hamstring problem

And Pep Guardiola revealed on Friday he is unsure whether he will be ready to face the Gunners.

That would be a blow for the 23-year-old – who was brought up in North London and loves playing at Wembley.

Guardiola said: “He had a problem with muscle, he had a problem against Basel.

“I don’t know if he’s ready for Sunday.”

EPA The 23-year-old failed to feature in the FA Cup defeat against Wigan last Monday

Reuters Raheem Sterling has been in inspired form for the Citizens this season, banging in 20 goals in all competitions

However Gabriel Jesus is set to return to the City squad after almost two months out with a knee ligament problem.

The Brazilian has been training for the past few days and will have a fitness test before they travel to London on Saturday.

GUARD’S HONOUR Pep Guardiola ready to agree Manchester City contract extension until 2021 worth £19.5m-a-year

Guardiola said: “With Gabriel we’ll see on Saturday, he made a third sessions with the team so every day he is better.

“He’s so important, when people say about four titles, you have to be everything going well, when your full-back is injured six months.

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