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Winter Olympics 2018: Bjoergen takes record-equalling gold as Norway top medal table

25 februarie 2018 13:05

Norway finished top of the Winter Olympics medal table after Marit Bjoergen claimed a record-equalling gold and Kirill Kaprizov's golden goal gave the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) the men's ice hockey title on the final day.

Bjoergen became the most decorated athlete in the history of the Winter Olympics when she won team sprint bronze at what is her final Games on Wednesday.

The cross-country skiing great increased her haul to 15 on Sunday and matched a record of eight golds held by her compatriots Ole Einar Bjoerndalen and Bjorn Daehlie with a masterclass in the 30-kilometre mass start classic event.

Bjoergen's exploits provided an apt climax to her 16-year Olympic career and also ensured her country end the Pyeongchang Games at the summit of the medal table with 14 golds - the same number as Germany - and 39 medals in total.

OAR claimed a dramatic 4-3 win over Germany in the men's ice hockey final, but there was four-man bobsleigh gold and silver for the Germans and a curling title for Sweden on the last day.

 

PEERLESS 'IRON LADY' ENDS OLYMPIC CAREER ON A HIGH 

Bjoergen's rivals have become accustomed to seeing her on top of the podium over the years and there was no stopping the indefatigable great yet again.

The 37-year-old, nicknamed the 'Iron Lady', led the endurance race from the early stages and did not look back, grabbing a Norwegian flag to celebrate as she eased to an emphatic victory.

Bjoergen's latest success gave Norway a 14th cross-country skiing medal at the showpiece event in South Korea, breaking a record set by the Soviet Union in 1988. 

Krista Parmakoski took silver for Finland after crossing the line one minute and 49 seconds behind Bjoergen, while Stina Nilsson of Sweden claimed bronze.

Bjoergen said: "It's been an incredible career for me, and after being a mum, it's hard to stay away from home, and these three weeks I was away from my son also. It's been tough and to finish like this is amazing."

 

KAPRIZOV AND GUSEV BREAK GERMAN HEARTS

The Russian team were strong favourites to beat a Germany side playing in their first Olympic ice hockey final, but there was almost an upset at the Gangneung Hockey Centre.

Germany twice came from behind with goals from Felix Schutz and Dominik Kahun before Jonas Muller put them in front for the first time.

Nikita Gusev came to the rescue with an equaliser for OAR in the final minute and laid on the winner for Kaprizov, who fired home 10 minutes into the extra period.

OAR veteran Pavel Datsyuk said: "The hearts of all the players on the bench stopped. We were waiting for this [equaliser]. And when [Gusev] scored, our hearts started beating."

 

FRIEDRICH DOUBLES UP, SILVER SHARED

Francesco Friedrich was on top of the podium for the second time in the Games after winning four-man bobsleigh gold.

Friedrich won the two-man title earlier in the week and steered his team-mates Candy Bauer, Martin Grothkopp and Thorsten Margis to victory with a run of 0.53 seconds.

He won the four-man title following a dead-heat finish and it was the same story for silver on the last day at the Olympic Sliding Centre, hosts South Korea and a second German crew finishing joint-second.

 

SWEDES LEAVE SOUR TASTE IN THE MOUTH OF 'GARLIC GIRLS'

Sweden were shocked by the United States in the men's curling final, but the women were not to be denied.

Anna Hasselborg, Sara McManus, Agnes Knochenhauer, Sofia Mabergs and Jennie Waahlin consigned South Korea - nicknamed the 'Garlic Girls' - to an 8-3 defeat.

Skip Hasselborg said: "I'm overwhelmed with feelings. I'm still so proud of my team, that they came out and performed this curling. I love each and every one. Just thinking about them makes me cry. They made my life so easy out there. I'm so crazy proud."

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