The Latest: US women seek 1st medal in cross-country skiing

APTOPIX Pyeongchang Olympics Ice Hockey Men_798977

the Czech Republic players celebrate after the quarterfinal round of the men’s hockey game against the United States at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. The Czech Republic won 3-2. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

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

6:05 p.m.

U.S. cross-country skiers Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall had the fastest time in the women’s sprint relay semifinals and have advanced to the finals at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The American women have never won a medal in cross-country skiing. The only American to ever win a cross-county medal was Bill Koch in 1976.

The finals begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday local time, which is 5 a.m. Wednesday Eastern time.

The Americans beat out a solid team from Sweden to win their heat.

Ten teams will compete in the finals.

Norway’s Marit Bjoernen is looking to make history of her own by becoming the most decorated Winter Olympic medalist of all time. She has 13 career medals overall, tied with Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjourndalen, and is looking to break that tie.

5 p.m.

If there was a positive that the Americans took away from the two-man bobsled competition at the Pyeongchang Olympics, it’s that they now know what not to do.

But knowing what to do is still a work in progress. The U.S. men returned to the ice Wednesday for the first day of official training for the four-man competition. They’re desperate to figure out a course that has largely befuddled them to this point.

Four-man is the final sliding event in Pyeongchang, with two runs on Saturday and two more before the cauldron gets extinguished on Sunday.

U.S. pilot Codie Bascue says they had two really solid runs that will give them confidence for the rest of the week.

Any confidence boost would be helpful. The U.S. placed 14th, 21st and 25th in the two-man competition.

3:05 p.m.

Brady Leman has earned gold for Canada in men’s skicross, beating Switzerland’s Marc Bischofberger in a wild final at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Leman took the lead early during Wednesday’s last round and then held off Bischofberger in a two-man duel after Canada’s Kevin Drury and Russian athlete Sergey Ridzik collided early on.

Ridzik picked himself up and raced down for bronze.

The elimination rounds included a handful of frightening crashes that forced several men to leave the course wrapped up in a medical sled.

The worst came when 2011 world champion Chris Del Bosco lost control in mid-air late in the run. The right side of the Canadian’s body slammed hard into the snow and he lay motionless for several minutes before emergency personnel carefully placed him on the sled.

2:50 p.m.

Pavel Francouz stopped all five shooters and Petr Kouka scored the shootout winner as the Czech Republic eliminated the United States men’s hockey team with a 3-2 victory in the quarterfinals at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Jan Kovar and Tomas Kundratek scored in regulation Wednesday for the Czech Republic, which was fresher after winning its group and getting a bye into the quarterfinals. The U.S. looked fatigued after facing Slovakia in the qualification round and was outshot 29-20.

Ryan Donato and Jim Slater scored for the U.S, which again was led by its youngest players, including speedster Troy Terry. U.S. goaltender Ryan Zapolski allowed three goals on 29 shots and one in the shootout. The Czech Republic’s Pavel Francouz stopped 18 in regulation and overtime.

2:45 p.m.

The United States and Czech Republic are going to a shootout in their quarterfinal men’s hockey game at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The U.S. opened the OT with 41 seconds remaining on the power play but failed to put a shot on goal Wednesday.

Bobby Sanguinetti had the best scoring chance in the overtime for the Americans. His shot hit off the shoulder of goalie Pavel Francouz with 35 seconds left and bounced around in the crease, but Francouz fell on the puck and kept it out of the goal.

2:30 p.m.

Alina Zagitova’s record-setting short program has given the 15-year-old Russian the lead over friend, training partner and two-time world champion Evgenia Medvedeva heading into Friday’s free skate.

Zagitova scored 82.92 points, breaking the mark of 81.61 that Medvedeva had set about 15 minutes earlier. Both scores topped the short program record Medvedeva set earlier in the Pyeongchang Games.

Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada was third with 78.87 points.

The American trio of Mirai Nagasu, Karen Chen and Bradie Tennell struggled with early mistakes in each of their programs. Nagasu was ninth with Chen and Tennell right behind her.

2:20 p.m.

Alina Zagitova allowed her close friend and training partner, Evgenia Medvedeva, to enjoy her new short program world record for about 15 minutes.

The 15-year-old Russian then performed a flawless ”Black Swan” routine to score 82.92 points inside Gangneung Ice Arena. That topped the score of 81.61 that Medvedeva put up three skaters ahead of her.

It was the third time the world record has been set during the Pyeongchang Games. Medvedeva also broke the record in helping the Olympic Athletes of Russia win the team silver medal.

2:15 p.m.

The injuries are starting to pile up in men’s skicross at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Three skiers left the course on medical sleds during the first round of eliminations following scary wrecks Wednesday.

Canadian Chris Del Bosco’s right side slammed violently into the ground at Phoenix Snow Park after he lost control in the air over one of the final jumps in the race that sends skiers side-by-side down the mountain.

France’s Terence Tchiknavorian landed awkwardly after a jump and appeared to injure his right leg. Austria’s Christoph Wahrstoetter became tangled up in the fence after colliding with Sweden’s Erik Mobaerg.

2 p.m.

Figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva has broken her own short program record set earlier at the Pyeongchang Games, scoring 81.61 points to Fredric Chopin’s ”Nocturn” at Gangneung Ice Arena.

The two-time world champion was perfect on her jumps, though her opening triple flip-triple toe combination was a bit awkward, and effortless on her spins and step sequence.

Medvedeva and her Russian teammate, Alina Zagitova, are the heavy favorites to win gold. Zagitova skates later in the final grouping.

Medvedeva also holds the free skate and overall record, both set during the 2017 World Team Trophy in Japan. Her then-record short program helped the Olympic Athletes of Russia win team silver earlier this month.

1:45 p.m.

Surprise Olympic champion Red Gerard has logged some 18,000 miles on a post-victory tour that took him from Pyeongchang to Los Angeles to New York, and now, back to South Korea.

Ten days after his victory on the slopestyle course, the American has returned to the snow, where he qualified for the final of the big air contest – the newest, highest-flying snowboarding event at the games.

His agent, Ryan Runke, can barely keep up with all the phone calls. Sponsorship and media opportunities are flooding in, and the mission isn’t so much about grabbing everything he can, but finding the right fit.

1:15 p.m.

Canada’s world champion women’s curling team is out of the running for an Olympic medal after suffering a shocking loss to Great Britain at the Pyeongchang Games.

Canada’s 6-5 loss to Britain on Wednesday in the women’s round robin eliminates them from medal contention.

The Canadians came into the Pyeongchang Games as the favorite to win gold, and their lackluster performance has stunned the curling world.

Canada’s captain, Rachel Homan, says she is disappointed in the loss but said the British team simply played better.

1 p.m.

Nine days after becoming the first U.S. woman and third overall to land a triple axel in the Olympics, Mirai Nagasu has taken to competitive ice again in the short program.

She came down on two feet on her opening triple axel, then fell to the surface. While the rest of her program was clean, Nagasu’s chances for an individual medal were damaged. She earned 66.93 points, a season’s best, but not likely to put her in position for the podium.

Nagasu, 24 and the fourth-place finisher at the Vancouver Games, helped the United States win a bronze medal in the team event with her historic jump and a spotless free skate.

12:15 p.m.

Sofia Goggia of Italy has won the women’s Olympic downhill, with good friend Lindsey Vonn taking the bronze.

Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway was the surprise silver medalist after turning in a sizzling run as the 19th racer on the course. Mowinckel also earned silver in the giant slalom at these Games.

Goggia finished in a time of 1 minute, 39.22 seconds to hold off Mowinckel by 0.09 seconds. Vonn finished 0.47 seconds behind Goggia.

At 33, Vonn becomes the oldest female medalist in Alpine skiing at the Winter Games. The record was held by Austria’s Michaela Dorfmeister, who was just shy of her 33rd birthday when she won the downhill and the super-G at the 2006 Turin Olympics. This is likely Vonn’s last Olympic downhill race.

12 p.m.

The top four spots midway through the women’s figure skating short program are held by American-born skaters representing four different countries.

Bradie Tennell remains on top for the U.S. after her score of 64.01 points. She’s followed by Isadora Williams for Brazil, Emmi Peltonen for Finland and Alexia Paganini for Switzerland.

Williams was born in Marietta, Georgia, and grew up in suburban Washington, D.C. But her mother is from Belo Horizonte and Williams has a large family still living in Brazil.

Peltonen was born in Nashville, Tennessee, while her father Ville Peltonen was playing in the NHL. Paganini was born in Connecticut to a Swiss father and holds dual U.S.-Swiss citizenship.

11:50 a.m.

Sofia Goggia of Italy is in first place and American Lindsey Vonn in position for the bronze medal after the top 20 racers in the downhill at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway turned in a surprise second-place finish as the 19th racer on the course.

The only thing that could disrupt the podium finish is a surprise showing by one of the remaining lower-ranked skiers.

Nothing is guaranteed, though, especially after Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic made a late charge last week from back in the pack to take the super-G title. Ledecka, who also dabbles in snowboarding, didn’t compete in the downhill.

11:45 a.m.

There have been some dramatic crashes in the women’s downhill at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Michelle Gisin of Switzerland crossed the finish line and then crossed her skis, sending her falling to the snow. She slid a ways before getting up and waving to the crowd.

Earlier in the race, Stephanie Venier of Austria crashed on the course. She went down on a hip and tumbled down the hill before coming to a stop. She got back up.

Later, two Italian racers crashed – Nadia Fanchini, who fell backward after a jump, and then Federica Brignone, who wound up sliding into the fencing on the side of the course.

11:20 a.m.

American ski racer Lindsey Vonn has the second-fastest time so far in the women’s downhill after a solid run.

Vonn finished 0.47 seconds behind leader Sofia Goggia of Italy as the seventh racer to take the course at Jeongseon Alpine Center.

At 33, Vonn is trying to become the oldest female medalist in Alpine skiing at the Winter Games.

11 a.m.

Russian women’s curling coach Sergei Belano says he is convinced a Russian curler charged with doping was slipped meldonium without his knowledge.

Belano says he doesn’t believe Alexander Krushelnitsky would have taken the drug because it would be foolish to do so. Belano said he is certain someone must have drugged Krushelnitsky. Belano did not explicitly say who he suspects would have done such a thing, but he said that multiple housekeepers come in and out of the athletes’ rooms each day.

Krushelnitsky won bronze with his wife in mixed doubles, but he now is likely to be stripped of the medal.

Russian curling officials have said Krushelnitsky could have been set up by a rival Russian athlete or a political enemy of the country.

Meldonium is designed for people with heart problems and some believe it can help athletes increase stamina. It was banned in sports in 2016.

10:40 a.m.

American figure skater Bradie Tennell fell during the opening combination in her short program at the Pyeongchang Olympics, such a rare mistake that not even she can remember the last time she made it.

Tennell, whose strength is her jumps, recovered to skate cleanly the rest of the way. The reigning national champion wound up with 64.01 points. As the first skater on the ice, that total should keep her in first place for quite a while.

The rest of the medal contenders all skate about two hours later.

”It was definitely unexpected,” Tennell said of her fall on a triple toe loop, ”but things happen. We’re all human. We all make mistakes. You just have to get up and keep going.”

The starting order is determined in part by world rankings, and Tennell dealt with injuries much of last season and did not compete in the biggest events. That forced her into the opening group, and she drew the No. 1 starting spot from among those skaters

10:30 a.m.

Skier Mikaela Shiffrin is thinking of her American teammates even if she’s not racing with them in the downhill at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Shiffrin wrote on her Twitter account: ”This. Track. Is. So. Fun! Only slightly bummed I’m not skiing it today cause we have 4 girls who are ready to hammer down and I can’t wait to watch!”

Shiffrin, who won Olympic gold in the giant slalom last week, decided to sit out the downhill when the Alpine combined was moved a day forward to Thursday due to weather concerns.

She didn’t want to race on back-to-back days, like she did with the giant slalom and slalom, where she entered as the defending champion and finished fourth.

10:20 a.m.

U.S. champion Bradie Tennell has taken the lead in the women’s short program at the Olympics.

Of course, she is the first skater to perform.

Tennell drew the opening spot, not an advantageous position in a field of 30. She has been consistent throughout her breakthrough season, but this time fell on the second part of her triple lutz-triple toe loop combination.

Tennell, who helped the Americans win the bronze medal in the team event, has earned 64.01 points. A score of 81.06 is the Olympic record, set last week by Russian Evgenia Medvedeva in the team competition.

The other Americans, Mirai Nagasu and Karen Chen, are slated to go 20th and 22nd, respectively. Medvedeva skates 25th.

9:40 a.m.

The Trump administration says Vice President Mike Pence was ready to meet with representatives from North Korea during his visit to the Olympic Games in South Korea but that North Korea canceled at the last minute.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert says that Pence ”was ready to take this opportunity” and would have used the meeting to emphasize U.S. concerns about the North’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Nauert says the U.S. regrets North Korea’s ”failure to seize this opportunity.”

9:30 a.m.

Lindsey Vonn is set to compete in her last Olympic downhill, but she says she’d rather not focus on that right now.

Vonn, the downhill gold medalist at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, is generally considered the favorite at the Pyeongchang Games. She’s looked good in training runs.

Also Wednesday, the women’s figure-skating competition starts with the short program. Among the competitors is American Mirai Nagasu, who in the team competition became the first U.S. woman to land a triple axel.

The Russians also have strong contenders, including two-time reigning world champion Evgenia Medvedeva, who broke her own short program world record in the team event. She has lost to only one skater since 2015 – her teammate Alina Zagitova. The medals will be awarded Friday.

More AP Olympic coverage:

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