By Fred Lief
The Associated Press
SOCHI, Russia — The mountain courses seemed better suited for the crawl or butterfly but posed no obstacle to Tina Maze. The Slovenian skier captured her second gold medal of these Olympic Games by winning the giant slalom. Maze was in full command, leading all the way and finishing 0.07 seconds ahead of Anna Fenninger of Austria. Defending champion Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany was the bronze medalist, and teen sensation Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S. was fifth in her Olympic debut. Last week, Maze tied for the gold medal in the downhill.
Skiing through sleet and snow, David Wise ended up with gold in men’s ski halfpipe. The American scored a 92 on his first run, which held up as the weather worsened. Mike Riddle won silver for Canada, and Kevin Rolland took bronze for France.
Russia is playing under immense pressure in Sochi, even after a 4-0 win over Norway on Tuesday. It did not look strong in the preliminary round, and that was the case against Norway, which has not won an Olympic hockey game since its home Lillehammer Games in 1994. The game was scoreless after one period and 2-0 after two. Russia got two goals from Alexander Radulov and advanced to the quarterfinals against Finland today. Latvia, the Czech Republic and Slovenia also advanced to the quarterfinals.
Norway’s Emil Hegle Svendsen edged Martin Fourcade of France to win gold in the men’s 15-kilometer mass start biathlon. They both finished in 42 minutes, 29.1 seconds, but Svendsen’s ski crossed the line a fraction ahead. This was Svendsen’s fourth career Olympic medal but first in Sochi. Ondrej Moravec of Czech Republic won bronze for his second medal of the games.
France’s Pierre Vaultier held off Nikolay Olyunin of Russia to win the gold medal in men’s snowboardcross on a chopped-up course slowed by drizzle. Alex Deibold of the U.S., a wax technician for the Americans in Vancouver four years ago, took the bronze.
South Korea won the 3,000-meter relay, passing China on the last lap to take the lead. Italy took the bronze, giving Arianna Fontana her third medal in Sochi.
Norway delivered a 1-2 finish in the nordic combined large hill. Graabak broke away from a five-man group with about 100 meters left in the cross-country race, finishing six-tenths of a second ahead of Magnus Moan. Fabian Riessle of Germany won the bronze.
Lauryn Williams and Elana Meyers in USA-1 lead at the halfway point of the bobsled. Williams, a two-time medalist in track at the Summer Games, and Meyers made two trips down the Sanki Sliding Center track in 1 minute, 54.89 seconds to open a 0.23-second lead over Canada’s Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse. USA-2’s Jamie Greubel and Aja Evans are in third. American track star Lolo Jones is in 11th with teammate Jazmine Fenlator in USA-3.
Britain reached the semifinals in men’s curling by beating Norway 6-5 in a tiebreaker. The game came down to the final shot, and British skip David Murdoch delivered. The British will face Sweden in the semifinals today while Canada plays China.