1.40pm – AUSTRIA’S GASSER SHOCKS KIWI TO TAKE GOLD
The first Australian to win two medals at a Winter Olympic Games has done so – but under the New Zealand flag.
Zoi Sadowski Synnott has claimed a memorable silver medal in the women’s snowboard Big Air final – to go with her stunning gold in the slopestyle event last Sunday.
Sadowski Synnott was born and raised in Sydney until she was six, before crossing the ditch where she now represents New Zealand.
Austria’s Anna Gasser stole gold with an unbelievable final run – landing a 95.50 with a ridiculous double cork 1260 melon for a combined score of 185.50.
That moved her ahead of Sadowski Synnott, who had the last run of the final and required a 92.50 to win gold.
However she was unable to land her final trick, and finished with a combined score from her first two runs of 177.00 to take silver.
1.29pm – COADY CRASHES OUT ON BRINK OF OLYMPIC HISTORY
Needing a 86.75 to move back into the bronze medal position, Coady got the speed wobbles – and never looked like landing her chick.
Always a step behind on her trick, Coady landed hard on her left hip as she crashed out of contention.
Her final run, of 8.5, was the worst of all finalists – and put her in ninth place in the finals with a combined score of 114.75 from her first two runs.
1.14pm – COADY WITH ONE LAST LAUNCH AT MEDAL GLORY
Coady crashed out in her second run, failing to get enough elevation off the jump to perform her trick – resulting in the Melbourne star botching her landing.
She scored 29.75, which will be a throwaway, but will have a third chance to add to her impressive first run and put her in position to sneak into the medals.
Of more concern has been the big tricks pulled off by her rivals, who posted big scores to send the Australian back in the rankings.
On the combined scores, Coady has slipped to seventh, but her first-run 85.00 still leaves her with the sixth-best single-run score and some wiggle room to fight back with a big final run.
New Zealand’s Sadowski Synnott has a combined 177.00 to remain in gold medal position.
12.53pm – COADY’S DREAM START TO BIG AIR FINAL
After the first round of the Big Air final, Australian Tess Coady is in pole position to create Australian Winter Olympics history.
The youngster landed, who qualified for the finals in eighth position, finished the first round with the third-best score of the 12 competitors, posting an impressive 85.00.
She was bettered by Austria’s Anna Gasser’s 90.00 before New Zealand’s Zoi Sadowski Synnott blitzed the field with a stunning 93.25.
Through three runs, competitors will have their best two scores combined to determine who goes home with the medals.
11.45am – AUSSIE EDGES TOWARDS WINTER OLYMPIC HISTORY
This is Tess Coady’s chance to create Australian Winter Olympic history.
No Aussie has ever won two medals at a Winter Games but in the next few hours Coady could put herself up on that pedestal – Australia’s first multi medal winner – above names like Stephen Bradbury, Torah Bright, Alissa Camplin and Jakara Anthony who have their own history as gold medallists.
The Victorian snowboarder is through to the Big Air final, with the first of her three runs starting at 12.30pm AEDT, as the eighth ranked competitor but in this no guts no glory sport – and she could pull another spectacular performance out of her hat just as she did last Sunday when she took bronze in the slopestyle.
Coady was ranked in the same eighth position for the slopestyle final – so can history repeat itself?
She played it safe in qualifying. Now there’s no pressure, no expectation, just opportunity to stun the world yet again.
OLYMPIAN COLLAPSES IN HORRIFYING SCENES
A Norwegian Olympic athlete collapsed from exhaustion seconds after a Eurosport commentator had inaccurately declared her the bronze medallist in the 10km biathlon, a sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting.
Just as she became on track to medal, Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold fell to her exhaustion. At first, she remained stationary, being passed by other athletes. Eventually, Tandrevold managed to begin skiing again, and was on track to be in 14th place just as she had her terrifying tumble right at the finish line.
When the 25-year-old hit the ground, her fellow athletes rushed to her aid. She was treated by medics on the snow before they carted her away.
Norway team doctor Lars Kolsrud told the press that Tandrevold was upset about what had occurred, and it was caused by exhaustion.
“She went empty on top of the hill and hardly got to the finishing line. When she got there, she was very sad and sorry, because she lost this medal and she was all empty for power,” Kolsrud said. “She was not unconscious but she was very, very exhausted. She said nothing except: ‘I’ve spoiled everything.’”
Following her collapse, Tandrevold told the press on Monday that she would be returning to Norway and that she was ruled unfit to compete.
“I just think I pushed my limits in the altitude and in a tough race, but since I’ve had issues with my heart earlier in my career, we need to be careful and we need to check it out further,” she said, per the Associated Press. “I’m not allowed to compete more in these Olympics so I will go home to Norway.”
US FUME AS OLYMPICS ‘HIJACKED’ BY DOPING SCANDAL
The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) accused Russia of “hijacking” the Beijing Olympics on Monday following the decision to allow teenage skater Kamila Valieva to continue to compete despite a positive drugs case.
In a statement following the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s ruling which allows Valieva to take part in individual events in Beijing, USADA expressed sympathy for the athlete at the centre of the controversy.
Chief executive Travis Tygart said “only time will tell” if Valieva should have been allowed to compete in Beijing after testing positive for the endurance-boosting angina medication trimetazidine.
But Tygart said if Valieva was later disqualified, the CAS ruling will “once again permit the Russians to taint the Olympic Games.”
“Either way, for the sixth consecutive Olympic Games, Russia has hijacked the competition and stolen the moment from clean athletes and the public,” Tygart said.
“If Russia would have properly processed this sample which they collected weeks prior to the Olympic Games, we would know for certain whether the women’s individual event starting tomorrow will be a real competition and whether she should have been allowed to skate in the Figure Skating Team Event.”
The Valieva case has hinged on the delay between her sample — provided at a competition in Russia on December 25 — and its analysis, which was only carried out six weeks later.
Normally drug tests involving athletes preparing to compete in major championships would be expedited by the national anti-doping authority of the country involved.
But the World Anti-Doping Agency said the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) made no request to accelerate testing of Valieva’s sample.
“If Russia had followed the rules, we would know for certain the outcome of the Figure Skating Team Event and those athletes who gave it their all could have their podium moment during these Games as they rightfully deserve,” Tygart added.
Meanwhile, US sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson slammed the decision to allow Valieva to continue to compete, contrasting the case with her own doping suspension from the Tokyo Games last year.
Richardson was barred from competing at the Olympics after testing positive for marijuana during the US track and field trials in Eugene, where she won the 100 metres.
The 21-year-old Texan was subsequently suspended for 30 days, making her ineligible to participate in Japan where she had been tipped as a medal contender.
And the CAS ruling on Valieva failed to impress Richardson.
Responding on Twitter to a column in USA Today which described the Valieva decision as a “slap in the face” for clean athletes, Richardson wrote: “Can we get a solid answer on the difference of her situation and mines?
“My mother died and I can’t run and was also favoured to place top 3. “The only difference I see is I’m a black young lady.” Richardson admitted using marijuana after her positive test last year, saying she took the drug after learning of her mother’s death.
The United States Anti-Doping Agency enforced her suspension while acknowledging her case was “heartbreaking on many levels.” Richardson on Monday also noted that marijuana was “definitely not a performance enhancer!!!”.
She also took aim at the fact that Valieva’s sample was provided in December but not tested until February.
“Failed in December and the world just now know however my resulted was posted within a week and my name & talent was slaughtered to the people,” Richardson wrote.