Winter Olympics round-up: US hockey success at last, Russia begins clean-up

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United States celebrates winning the women's gold medal hockey game against Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics. (AP)
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Hungary's Sandor Liu Shaolin celebrates winning the gold medal in the men's 5,000m relay short track speed skating. (AFP)
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The Court of Arbitration for Sport said it had opened an anti-doping case against Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky. (AFP)
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Bronze medalist Nico Porteous of New Zealand on the podium. (REUTERS)
Updated 22 February 2018

Winter Olympics round-up: US hockey success at last, Russia begins clean-up

ICE HOCKEY: For the first time in 20 years, the US women’s hockey team can call themselves Olympic champions after beating Canada 3-2 in a shootout final. All the pressure was on Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson who scored the deciding shootout goal against the four-time defending champions after five shots for each team ended deadlocked at 2-2. “This medal speaks loudly in our hearts and souls,” Lamoureux-Davidson said. The Americans snapped their arch-rivals’ 24-match Olympic-winning streak, a painful loss for the Canadians that had the silver medalists in tears, a medal so painful to Jocelyne Larocque that she removed it as soon as it was placed around her neck. “It just hurt,” Larocque said. “We worked so hard. We wanted gold. We didn’t get it. Guess it’s motivation.”

SPEED SKATING: Hungary claimed their first Winter Olympics gold medal on Thursday when their men’s short-track speed skaters won the 5,000-meter relay. The Hungarians, who also won their first Winter Games medal of any color since 1980, held off China in second with Canada taking bronze. Short-track superpowers South Korea were knocked out of contention halfway through the race after a fall left them three-quarters of a lap adrift and it was a miserable night for the hosts, who also crashed out of the women’s 1,000-meter final and the men’s 500-meter final. Hungary did it in style, setting a new Olympic record of 6min 34.510sec. Hungary have participated in every Winter Games since 1924, with their tally now reading one gold, two silver and four bronze.

DRUGS IN SPORT: Russia’s Olympic Committee (ROC) has paid $15 million to help develop international anti-doping efforts as part of the conditions set for the country’s possible return to the Games. Russians are competing at the Pyeongchang Olympics as neutral athletes after the national team was barred over allegations of state-sponsored doping, which Moscow denies. The ROC said it had to fulfil a number of conditions in order to be reinstated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). “One of these, is the payment of $15 million for the development of international doping systems, and coordination in this area between the IOC, World Anti-Doping Agency and international sports federations,” the ROC said in a statement. “As of today, this sum has been paid in full by the ROC.”

FREESTYLE SKIING: After going 26 years without a Winter Olympics medal, rugby-mad New Zealand toasted a pair of fresh-faced schoolchildren as they captured bronze in snowboard and freestyle skiing. Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and Nico Porteous, both 16, reached the podium to emulate countrywoman Annelize Coberger, who skied her way to silver in the slalom in 1992 — well before they were born. At 16 years and 353 days, Sadowski-Synnott became New Zealand’s youngest Olympic medalist after finishing third behind Austria’s Anna Gasser and American Jamie Anderson in the inaugural snowboard Big Air competition. That record stood for just 30 minutes as Porteous claimed bronze in the men’s freestyle ski halfpipe at 16 years and 91 days. “That was the best run I’ve ever done in my life,” Porteous said.

Saudi helpers step up to the tee at first women’s golf tournament

Updated 26 February 2020

Saudi helpers step up to the tee at first women’s golf tournament

  • Volunteers will have the chance to step inside the ropes and get up close with the sport’s leading players

JEDDAH: Saudi volunteers will be able to write their names into the history books by helping at the first-ever Saudi Ladies International professional golf tournament.

Competition organizers are looking to recruit hundreds of people to help with the smooth running of the four-day event from March 19-22 at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC).

Volunteers will have the chance to step inside the ropes and get up close with the sport’s leading players, including Order of Merit winner Beth Allen, three-time Ladies European Tour (LET) winner Carly Booth and Solheim Cup hero Azahara Munoz, as they compete for $1 million in prize money. 

The LET tournament in Saudi Arabia will mark the first time that professional female golfers have played competitively in the country, and comes hot on the heels of last month’s triumphant men’s equivalent, the Saudi International, won by Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell.

Online registration is now open for the debut event’s volunteers’ program.

Volunteers will be briefed before the event and receive a tournament uniform to wear while they work.

Marshals, including traveling, static, crossing and transitional positions, will be required for the tournament. Mobile scoreboard operators and walking scorers are among other roles that will offer volunteers a unique insight into the world-class event.

Mike Oliver, event director at Golf Saudi, said: “For the first year of this event, we are offering volunteers a chance to be part of history, working at the first professional women’s golf event to be held in the country.

“Volunteers, from both Saudi Arabia and abroad, will play a key role in helping us deliver a successful inaugural tournament,” he said.

A certificate of service will be presented to volunteers at the completion of the tournament.

As a bonus, volunteers will have their photo taken with the 2020 ladies winner during the prize presentation — a moment that will be seen by a worldwide audience via live broadcasts.