PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) The Latest on the Pyeongchang Olympics (all times local):
The pairs free skate is underway at Gangneung Ice Arena, where the Chinese team of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong have less than a point lead over rivals Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov.
The total from Wednesday’s short program and free skate determines the medals.
Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, fresh off helping Canada win team gold, are currently third but well behind the two leaders. They have six other couples within three points of them, which should mean a tense, tight squeeze just to land on the podium.
The North Korean pair of Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik also are back for the free skate, along with their nation’s cheerleaders. They were 11th of 22 teams in the short program.
American standout Mikaela Shiffrin has turned in a fast first run of the giant slalom to kick off her Pyeongchang Olympics.
She finished 0.20 seconds behind current leader Manuela Moelgg of Italy.
Shiffrin got wide on a few turns, but other than that was solid through the tight course. She’s in good position for the final run later in the afternoon South Korea time.
The 22-year-old finished fifth in the giant slalom at the 2014 Sochi Games. She’s the defending Olympic slalom champion.
The women’s Alpine racing program at the Pyeongchang Olympics has finally begun with Manuela Moelgg of Italy starting the first run of the giant slalom.
Hampered by high wind and weather, the women’s races have been postponed twice at the Yongpyong Alpine Center.
On a clear day with much less wind, Moelgg got things going. American standout Mikaela Shiffrin will be the No. 7 racer out of the starting gate. She’s among the favorites in the giant slalom.
The second run is Thursday afternoon South Korea time.
Assuming the weather cooperates, there are nine medals up for grabs at the Olympics, including the women’s giant slalom, where Mikaela Shiffrin is set to make her Pyeongchang debut.
Only one of four scheduled Alpine races has been run so far because of strong winds at both hills being used for the Winter Games. Both the women’s giant slalom and the men’s downhill are to be held Thursday.
It’s also the finale of the pairs figure-skating competition, where Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China have a slim lead over Russian skaters Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov heading into the free skate. Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford are in third, but several teams are still within reach of the podium.
For more AP Olympic coverage: https://www.wintergames.ap.org