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Saturday February 24th, 2018 10:53AM

The Latest: Poland's Stoch tunes up strong jumps at Olympics

By The Associated Press
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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — The Latest on the Pyeongchang Olympics (all times local):

9:55 p.m.

Defending champion Kamil Stoch of Poland has tuned up for the ski jumping large hill final with two strong jumps at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Stoch had jumps of 131 meters and 134 meters Wednesday at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Center. The large hill final is on Saturday.

Stoch won both the normal and large hill events at Sochi.

He won his second straight Four Hills tournament in Bischofshofen, Austria, on Jan. 6 to become only the second ski jumper in the history of the sport to win all four stages of the prestigious event.

He is first in the overall World Cup standings with four titles this season.

Germany's Andreas Wellinger won the normal hill gold on Saturday and was 11th and fourth in two training runs.

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9:50 p.m.

The U.S. men's hockey team is leading Slovenia 1-0 on a goal by Brian O'Neill after one period of its Olympic opener

Slovenia goaltender Gasper Kroselj made several big saves before Garrett Roe flew down the left wing and fed O'Neill in front for the goal.

The U.S. is outshooting Slovenia 11-3.

Across town, the Russian team was tied 2-2 after the first period in its Olympic opener against Slovakia.

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8:30 p.m.

Jorien ter Mors has set an Olympic record to win the 1,000 meters at the speedskating Oval, earning a fifth gold medal for the Netherlands in as many events.

Favorite Nao Kodaira slumped over the last half-lap and had to settle for silver ahead of her Japanese teammate, Miho Takagi.

Brittany Bowe of the United States finished just outside the medals.

No one has ever completed the race faster at sea level. Ter Mors crossed in 1 minute 13.56 seconds, beating Kodaira by 0.26 seconds and Takagi by 0.42 seconds.

She beat the 2002 Olympic mark of U.S. skater Chris Witty, which was set at high altitude.

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8:20 p.m.

Athletes, coaches and officials all are dealing with delays in Alpine skiing at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Only one of four scheduled races has been run so far because of strong winds at both hills being used for these Winter Games.

The skiers themselves keep busy with race preparation. The coaches try to keep their athletes focused. And the officials are trying to make sure all 11 races get completed.

Many of the women whose slalom race was scrapped because of strong winds at the Yongpyong Alpine Center on Wednesday, including American star and defending gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin, took a couple of practice runs for the giant slalom that will be Thursday.

Men took informal downhill training on a shortened course at the Jeongseon Alpine Center about 30 miles (50 kilometers) away.

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8 p.m.

Snow volleyball is not an Olympic sport. Probably never will be.

But it had its finest moment on when Prince Albert of Monaco — an International Olympic Committee member — showed up at a chilly outdoor exhibition of snow volleyball at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

With hundreds cheering "Albert, Albert, Albert," the Monaco royal made a 30-second cameo appearance on an icy court set up amid plastic palm trees outside the Austria House — the country's promotional venue at the Olympics.

The prince put down his mulled wine, walked on to the court, twirled his right arm to get warm, and put the ball into play.

It was a perfect serve — and a great pitch for the fledgling sport.

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7:30 p.m.

Ireen Wust of the Netherlands has posted the fastest time so far in the women's 1,000-meter speedskating final.

She skated the distance in 1 minute, 15.32 seconds on Wednesday night. She is seeking a second gold medal of the games, having won the 1,500.

The Dutch are 4-for-4 at the big oval in Gangneung.

Wust has a long wait to see if she comes out on top again. Still to skate are medal contenders Jorien ter Mors and Marrit Leenstra of the Netherlands, Americans Brittany Bowe and Heather Bergsma and Miho Takagi of Japan.

Takagi earned silver in the 1,500, while Leenstra claimed bronze.

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7 p.m.

Japan has held off Korea 4-1 for its first Olympic victory in women's hockey, with Hanae Kubo and Shoko Ono each scoring in the first period.

Japan came into its third Olympics winless, but it has the ninth-ranked team in the world and is tops in Asia.

South Korea got a berth as host of the Pyeongchang Games and brought in six North Americans for their debut. The Koreans also had 12 North Koreans added to their expanded roster last month under an agreement between countries divided for seven decades.

Kubo scored 67 seconds in, and Ono added a power-play goal at 3:58.

The Koreans made more Olympic history of their own with their first goal at 9:31 of the second on their 33rd shot over three games.

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6:50 p.m.

Reigning Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan will be the first skater in the final group when the men take the ice for their short program at the Pyeongchang Games.

The starting draw was held after the pairs completed their short program Wednesday afternoon.

Hanyu will be followed Friday by American star Nathan Chen, Russian skater Mikhail Kolyada and countryman Shoma Uno. Two-time world champion Javier Fernandez of Spain will be the penultimate skater, with Boyang Jin of China going last.

Hanyu is trying to defend men's Olympic gold for the first time in 66 years. He did three jumps during practice Wednesday, hitting a quad toe-triple toe combination but falling on his quad salchow.

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6:45 p.m.

Defending champion Eric Frenzel of Germany has won the gold medal in the Nordic combined normal hill at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Frenzel erased a 36-second deficit after the ski jumping stage and surged ahead of Akito Watabe on the last uphill of the 10-kilometer cross-country race to finish 4.8 seconds ahead of his Japanese rival. Austria's Lukas Klapfer took the bronze.

Austrian Franz-Josef Rehrl was the surprise winner of the ski jumping phase with a leap of 112 meters that gave him a 15-second head start but faded early in the cross-country stage.

Frenzel finished fifth in the ski jumping with a leap of 106.5 meters and took the lead midway through the race and held on to give Germany its sixth gold of the games.

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5:55 p.m.

The combined Korea women's hockey team finally has its first goal of the Olympics, courtesy of a pair of Americans.

Randi Heesoo Griffin scored at 9:31 of the second period on the Koreans' 33rd shot of the Olympics in their third game. She grew up in Cary, North Carolina, and her mother is from South Korea.

Griffin was set up for the goal by Marissa Brandt, who now lives in a suburb of the Twin Cities in Minnesota and who is playing for the country where she was born. Her birth name is Park Yoonjung, the name she uses on the back of her Korean team jersey.

Griffin's goal led to an eruption from fans filling Kwandong Hockey Center. Better yet, the goal pulled the combined Korean team within 2-1 of Japan — South Korea's biggest Asian rival.

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5:30 p.m.

Shaun White has dismissed the sexual misconduct allegations made against him in a 2016 lawsuit as "gossip."

White won his third Olympic gold medal Wednesday in the men's halfpipe, then was criticized on social media and questioned in a press conference about allegations made in a lawsuit by a former drummer in White's rock band.

The woman says White sexually harassed and refused to pay her. The lawsuit was settled last May.

White was asked in a media conference if the lawsuit might tarnish his reputation.

He says, "I'm here to talk about the Olympics, not gossip and stuff." He adds, "I don't think so."

Reporters attempted to follow up about the lawsuit, but the conference moderator shot them down. White rushed off stage as reporters questioned him about the allegations following the conference.

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This item has been corrected to show White was accused of sexual misconduct and to delete a reference to sexual assault.

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5:10 p.m.

The Olympic women's individual biathlon has been postponed due to strong winds hitting the Alpensia Biathlon Center.

Forecasts are predicting gusts of more than 15 mph Wednesday night, making it difficult for competitors to shoot their rifles.

The event has been moved to Thursday, starting ahead of the men's individual biathlon.

Wind has been a problem throughout the Pyeongchang Olympic Games. The women's slalom was also canceled Wednesday and spectators were asked to evacuate the Olympic Park in the coastal city of Gangneung because it was so gusty. The men's downhill and women's giant slalom have also had to be postponed.

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4:15 p.m.

American ski racer Tommy Biesemeyer will miss the men's downhill Thursday after hurting his right ankle while training. The U.S. ski team said Wednesday he was taken to a local clinic to receive treatment and was released.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle will take his place in the race.

Biesemeyer said in a statement: "You are supposed to be optimistic in times like these and say something like, 'I will come back stronger than ever.' But I just can't bring myself to do it. I am honored to have been named to Team USA and walking in the Opening Ceremony is a moment I'll never forget."

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3:55 p.m.

Officials are asking spectators to evacuate the Olympic Park in the coastal city of Gangneung and take shelter indoors because of strong winds.

An announcement in Korean and English advises fans to go inside for safety Wednesday afternoon. Workers are disassembling tents around the park.

Volunteers are also using bullhorns to tell fans to go inside. Many were queued up to go inside the Samsung building near the hockey arena.

Winds are blowing steadily around 23 mph (37 kph) with stiffer gusts rattling and shaking the giant tent anchored with metal beams in Gangneung.

A media work tent was closed because of the gusting winds ahead of a women's hockey game between Japan and Korea.

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3:40 p.m.

American Emily Sweeney is recovering from a frightening crash that knocked her out of the final run of the Pyeongchang Olympic women's luge competition.

Sweeney was still experiencing back pain after Tuesday's crash, and she was being monitored by USA Luge's medical staff. USA Luge says Sweeney is doing well and her parents are visiting with her in the Athletes' Village.

The Pyeongchang Games were Sweeney's first Olympics. Sweeney lost control around a curve considered the track's most treacherous spot, then careened through several more turns before crashing.

The plan is for Sweeney to continue being checked regularly by doctors for the next few days. USA Luge says, "Further steps will be taken, if necessary."

Sweeney doesn't have any other events scheduled at the Olympics.

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3:20 p.m.

The winds are so strong at the Pyeongchang Olympics that officials are closing the media work tent outside the Kwandong Hockey Center ahead of a game between Japan and Korea.

An official asked reporters and photographers to move to work locations inside the hockey rink Wednesday because the media tent was being closed.

Winds are blowing steadily around 23 mph (37 kph) with stiffer gusts rattling and shaking the giant tent anchored with metal beams in Gangneung.

A heavy contingent of media is at the Kwandong Hockey Center for the women's hockey game between Japan and Korea. The two countries have a long and bitter history.

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3 p.m.

Switzerland has edged Sweden 2-1 to take the top spot in Group B of women's hockey at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The win ensures Switzerland, the 2014 bronze medalist, will face either Finland or the Russians on Saturday in the quarterfinals.

Phoebe Staenz scored the game-winner at 11:28 of the third period. Alina Muller also had a goal and an assist, and Christine Meier had two assists. Goalie Florence Schelling made 33 saves for an Olympic record with her ninth career win, breaking a tie with Canada's Kim St. Pierre.

Muller gave Switzerland a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 13:51 of the second period for her tournament-best sixth goal.

Sweden, which hasn't medaled since taking silver in 2006 at Turin, tied it with Anna Borgqvist's power-play goal at 7:35 of the third.

Staenz scored on the power-play to keep the Swiss undefeated. They beat Sweden to win bronze in 2014.

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2:30 p.m.

Next stop is Tokyo in 2020 for the oompah band Kleintje Pils, aka "the Dutch giants on clogs" at the Pyeongchang Games.

It will be full circle if they make it to the Summer Games in two years' time. The brass band, known for their stirring renditions of classics like Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline," started out at the 1998 Nagano Games in Japan.

The Dutch already reign supreme on the ice at the speedskating oval and on Wednesday, Kleintje Pils, which translates to "Small Beer," took the infield again.

"Just before leaving for Korea, we studied the song 'Gangnam Style' and it has become our biggest hit here," said Ruud Bakker, who wields a bass drum. "Koreans may be subdued, but this gets them going."

Decked out in their orange-striped shirts, casual pants and wooden shoes, Kleintje Pils had its first performance at a hockey match. "The fans are different. They raised the roof," said Bakker.

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1:55 p.m.

The Chinese pair of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong led Russian skaters Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov by less than a point after the short program in the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Sui and Han scored a season-best 82.39 points Wednesday to a breathtaking, almost ethereal version of the Leonard Cohen song "Hallelujah." They embraced on their knees as the music came to an end, holding the pose for a moment as the crowd roared its approval.

Tarasova and Morozov scored 81.68 points to a piano concerto by Rachmaninov to keep them in contention heading into Thursday's free skate.

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada were third with 76.82 points. That was less than a point ahead of German favorites Aliona Savchenkno and Bruno Massot.

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12:15 p.m.

Snowboarder Shaun White has won America's 100th Winter Olympic gold medal, throwing down a spectacular final run in the men's halfpipe.

The United States is only the second country to win 100 winter golds. It trails Norway, which started Wednesday with 121. Germany is third with 92.

White's gold was the fourth for the U.S. in Pyeongchang. The others came from snowboarders Red Gerard, Jamie Anderson and Chloe Kim. America has won 14 gold medals in snowboarding since its Olympic debut in 1998, the most of any country.

This is White's third gold medal and first since 2010. He ranks third among Americans in individual winter gold medals, trailing only speedskaters Bonnie Blair and Eric Heiden, who have five each.

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More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org

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