Recap: Olympic Winter sports Friday

Eileen Gu, Alexander Tretiakov and Erin Jackson were just some of the stars competing on Friday 10 December as the Winter World Cup season continued across the globe. Read on to find out who did what at the start of a busy weekend.

Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Eileen Gu, Alexander Tretiakov and Erin Jackson were are all in action this Friday (10 December) as the busy winter season continued with skeleton, biathlon, snowboard, ski jumping, freestyle skiing and speed skating.

Read on for a recap of Friday's World Cup action as the globe's top athletes continued on their quest to qualify for Beijing 2022.

Eileen Gu, Ferreira fly highest on Copper Mountain

Representing the People's Republic of China, Eileen Gu, put in a high-flying performance (90.50) in the superpipe at Copper Mountain, Colorado to earn gold in Friday's U.S. Grand Prix freestyle skiing halfpipe finals. Rachael Karker of Canada came in just shy of top spot with a score of 90.00 to lay claim to a silver medal, while third-place was wrapped up by Kelly Sildaru of Estonia.

A pair of American skiers, Brita Sigourney (fourth) and Hanna Faulhaber (fifth), finished just off the podium.

Alex Ferreira of Team USA won the gold on the men's side of the freestyle halfpipe finals with a score of 93.50. He was joined on the podium by New Zealand's Nico Porteous (silver with 92.25) and Canadian Brendan Mackay (bronze with 91.50).

Tomorrow (Saturday 11 December) Copper Mountain will host the snowboard halfpipe finals with three-time Olympic champion Shaun White looking to improve after barely scraping through yesterday's qualifying round.

READ MORE: Olympic freestyle skiing at Beijing 2022: Top five things to know

Lollobrigida wins first 3000m gold in Calgary

Friday's first World Cup speed skating final from the Calgary Olympic Oval in Canada saw American 500m women's star Erin Jackson finish off the podium for a second straight week. A pair of Russian skaters, Olga Fatkulina (first) and Angelina Golikova (third) finished in the top-three while Japan's Nao Kodaira ended up wedged in between the ROC pair with a time worthy of silver.

The Florida-born Jackson, who began the current season in sizzling form, finished in fifth place as she tries to locate the kind of consistency needed to become a medal contender at this February's Beijing Games -- in what will be her second consecutive Olympics.

Laurent Dubreuil of Canada took the gold in the men's 500m event later on Friday. Tingyu Gao of the People's Republic of China slid in right behind to earn the silver medal while Japan's Yuma Murakami rounded out the podium with bronze.

The women's 3000m event was won by Italian skater Francesca Lollobrigida -- the first World Cup gold of her career -- with Isabelle Weidemann of Canada and Czech Martina Sáblíková rounding out the podium in second and third respectively.

In the last of Friday's finals, Sweden's Nils van der Poel took the top spot in the men's 5000m with David Ghiotto (silver) of Italy and Ted-Jan Bloemen of Canada (third) close behind.

READ MORE: Olympic speed skating at Beijing 2022: Top five things to know

Kramer continues high-flying run

Austrian ace Marita Kramer continued her superb run of the season in the Ski Jumping World Cup, claiming the first of two women's World Cup competitions in Klingenthal in Germany.

Kramer won with jumps of 133m and 124.5m, scoring 247.9 points for a narrow 2.6 points victory over Norway's Silje Opseth with efforts of 133.5m and 123.5m. Ursa Bogataj of Slovenia finished third behind the Norwegian.

Kramer will be looking to consolidate her lead at the top of the World Cup rankings on the second day of jumping action in Klingenthal.

READ MORE: Olympic ski jumping at Beijing 2022: Top five things to know

Bankes and Haemmerle on the money in Montafon

British world champion Charlotte Bankes went one better on the second leg of the Snowboard Cross World Cup in Montafon, France, winning the gold medal for a second podium place in as many finals. 

Bankes held off a strong challenge from France’s Chloe Trespeuch, Belle Brockhoff of Australia and Canada’s Meryeta Odin. Brockhoff established an early lead before the Briton passed her on the inside to hold on for the victory. The Australian crossed the line in second place, with Trespeuch claiming third. 

Hometown favourite Alessandro Haemmerle did not disappoint, claiming back-to-back World Cup titles. 

The three-time crystal globe winner had to work hard for the win, with Germany’s Martin Noerl and US rider Nick Baumgartner providing stiff competition. Noerl looked set for the win before he fell, allowing Haemmerle to claim the title. Baumgartner finished second with Umito Kirchwehm of Germany bagging bronze. 

READ MORE: Olympic snowboard at Beijing 2022: Top five things to know

Super slider Bos in record-breaking form

Dutch slider Kimberley Bos was in a class of her own, setting track records at Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup in Winterberg, Germany on both her runs. 

Bos was in blistering form, setting the fastest time on the track on her first run, clocking 56.98 seconds before upping the ante in the second heat with 56.70. 

Germany’s Tina Hermann finished the day in second place, 0.25s slower than Bos, with Mirela Rahneva of Canada finishing third. 

The pressure was mounting on the Dutchwoman as the track seemed to get faster as the evening progressed. Hermann’s second run was faster than Bos' record time from the first heat. Demonstrating nerves of steel, Bos produced the goods on the last run of the day to claim her first World Cup victory of the season.

READ MORE: Olympic skeleton at Beijing 2022 - Top five things to know

Kuehn and Sola earn maiden Biathlon World Cup wins

Germany’s Johannes Kuehn earned a career-first Biathlon World Cup win in the men’s 10km sprint event in a time of 26:05 in Hochfilzen, Austria.

A superb final loop clinched the victory for Kuehn, with Sweden’s Martin Ponsiluoma finishing second and Belarus’ Anton Smolski earning his first podium place.

World bronze medallist Hanna Sola of Belarus was in dominant form, winning the women’s 7.5km sprint by 46.8 seconds. Sola completed the course in a time of 20:44.4 upgrading the bronze she won a week ago in Oestersund to gold thanks to flawless shooting in both the prone and standing positions.

Frenchwoman Justine Braisaz-Bouchet finished second with Norway’s Marte Olsbu Roeiseland rounding off the podium for her second bronze of the season.

READ MORE: Olympic biathlon at Beijing 2022: Top five things to know

Tretiakov wins Winterberg skeleton in style

The Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup series, is at the halfway point of this winter in Winterberg, Germany, with Russia’s Alexander Tretiakov claiming his second victory of the season.

The Sochi 2014 champion came into the second heat with a narrow lead over Germany’s Axel Jungk with the second-fastest time after the first run. Tretiakov set a new track record of 1:55.05 relegating Jungk to second place with Grotheer finishing third for a German two-three podium.

The men’s skeleton competition has been a close affair over the first three legs of the World Cup, which has seen five winners. The second leg in Innsbruck produced the first three-way tie for gold, with Grotheer, Wenqiang Gang (CHN) and Matt Weston (GBR) sharing the top spot.

But there would be no sharing of gold in Winterberg with Tretiakov claiming a 22nd World Cup title in the process.

READ MORE: Olympic skeleton at Beijing 2022 - Top five things to know


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