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Winter Olympics

Winter Olympics latest: Kobayashi, Anthony and Sadowski-Synnott get gold

Ryoyu Kobayashi, Jakara Anthony and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott each carved out a slice of Olympic history in landing gold at Beijing 2022.

Update:
Winter Olympics latest: Kobayashi, Anthony and Sadowski-Synnott get gold
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Ryoyu Kobayashi ended a 50-year wait for Japan as he landed ski jumping gold at the Winter Olympics on Sunday.

Not since Yukio Kasaya in 1972 had Japan triumphed in the men's normal hill ski jumping event, but the 25-year-old Kobayashi fended off all-comers to top the podium.

It was Japan's first Olympic gold in any form of ski jumping since the country hosted the 1998 Games in Nagano.

Kobayashi scored 275.0 points for his two jumps, placing him ahead of two surprise medallists, Austria's Manuel Fettner and Poland's Dawid Kubacki.

Fettner came into the event having not featured on a World Cup podium in an individual event since January 2017, while Kubacki has been enduring a tough season. Both outshone World Cup leader Karl Geiger, with the German only able to finish 15th.

Kobayashi, who finished seventh four years ago in Pyeongchang, said: "I can't believe it at all. My two jumps were perfect, which I was very pleased with.

"I had only good feelings when I was performing. At the last Olympics I realised many things that I was missing, so this time I did what I had to do. This is why I got the victory."

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Coady and Anthony land medals for Australia

It was a remarkable day for Australia too, landing two medals on the same day at the Winter Games for the first time, as Tess Coady took bronze in women's snowboard slopestyle and Jakara Anthony struck gold in the freestyle skiing moguls.

Anthony said of her golden moment: "It was really incredible. I really feel like it was my best run on the course, and I'm so proud that I was able to let myself ski like that.

"It's a real mental game to let yourself do what you are capable of, and I really feel I was able to achieve that, which is something really special and something I've been working really hard to be able to do. Gold medal was the plan, so I'd say it went according to plan."

Anthony's gold means Australia now have an all-time haul of nine Olympic medals in freestyle skiing, with five of those won by women.

Snowboard glory for New Zealand

For the first time, New Zealand have a gold medallist at the Winter Olympics. Step forward Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, champion in the slopestyle, who triumphantly navigated an obstacle-packed course described by American silver medallist Julia Marino as "the hardest ever".

Sadowski-Synnott was embraced by Marino and Coady, and said: "That was a pretty special moment and probably I'll never forget it. It was just so amazing and special.

"To win New Zealand's first Winter Olympic gold means so much to me and I can't believe that I managed to do it. I'm just super proud to be Kiwi and I hope I made everyone at home proud."

Bolshunov storms to skiathlon title

Russian Olympic Committee's Alexander Bolshunov insisted there was nothing suspicious about his huge margin of victory in the men's skiathlon cross-country race. 

The 25-year-old finished one minute and 11 seconds clear of compatriot Denis Spitsov, with Finland's Iivo Niskanen taking bronze.

"It is something unbelievable. I am an Olympic champion and this is for life," said a thrilled Bolshunov.

Russian sport has been tainted by doping, but Bolshunov insisted he is a clean athlete and reacted unhappily to being asked about his credibility after landing gold.

He said: "You don't just become an Olympic champion all of a sudden. Over the past years, I proved that in every race and always show distinguished results and also always battle to the end.

"As for doping, when I hear those words, it honestly turns me inside out. I do not accept that and when I hear those words, I don't even want to hear them.

"I hate hearing this because for me it is something that is incompatible with sport. We have clean sportsmen. We have clean athletes here at the Olympics."

Ludwig lives up to billing

It was too windy for downhill skiing on Sunday, with action on those slopes postponed to Monday, but there was no holding back the luge competitors, as Germany's Johannes Ludwig carried off the men's singles gold medal.

The 35-year-old pre-Games favourite's combined time of three minutes 48.735 seconds edged him ahead of Austrian silver medallist Wolfgang Kindl and Italian Dominik Fischnaller, who took bronze.

"I said to myself before the last two runs, 'Let's take it like a game, yeah? It's called the Olympic Games, let’s take it like a game,'" said Ludwig. "I hoped that I could make a little bit [of a] show for the people here, then it's a fun race to watch. This was important for me and I just said to myself, 'Let it go'. What happens, happens."

Another long wait ended, as world champion Nils van der Poel became Sweden's first speed skating Olympic gold medallist since 1988, winning the 5,000 metres.

Three-time defending champion Sven Kramer could only finish ninth for Netherlands, saying afterwards it would be his last appearance over the distance.

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