PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) – The Latest on the Pyeongchang Olympics (all times local):
Alina Muller scored a hat trick in the first period and added a fourth goal 1:26 into the second as Switzerland shut out Korea 8-0 for a big dose of hockey reality for the Koreans’ extraordinary Olympic debut.
The first combined Korean team at any Olympics did not dim fans’ enthusiasm for a team dressing three North Koreans.
Bolstered by North Korean cheerleaders, fans yelled “Bear up” on each shot attempt. They also shouted “We are one” with the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korea’s nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam, watching at the Kwandong Hockey Center.
Korea just missed an early lead when Han Soojin’s shot hit the crossbar.
Switzerland is ranked sixth in the world.
The Koreans managed all of three shots in the first 20 minutes of their historic women’s hockey game in the Olympics, and a North Korean had one of them.
And fans roared encouragement and approval each time the Koreans touched the puck.
Han Soojin had a shot that went off the crossbar, just missing a chance to give Korea a lead in a scoreless game. North Korean Jong Su Hyon had a shot smothered by the Swiss goalie, and Choi Jiyeon had another shot late in the period.
It wasn’t nearly enough against Switzerland, ranked sixth in the world and winner of bronze in 2014 at Sochi. Alina Muller provided all the scoring the Swiss needed with a hat trick in the first period, the third goal coming with 12 seconds left in the period.
The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is watching a joint Korean hockey team’s historic first match against Switzerland at the Olympics with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Moon’s office says Moon; Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong; and North Korea’s nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam, are at the Kwandong Hockey Center on Saturday to watch the game.
Kim Yo Jong and Kim Yong Nam are on an unprecedented visit to South Korea amid an abrupt reconciliation mood between the rival Koreas for the Pyeongchang Games.
The North Koreans earlier Saturday invited Moon to visit Pyongyang in what would be the Koreas’ third summit talks since their 1945 division.
Lim Hyo-jun has given the host country its first gold medal of the Pyeongchang Olympics.
The South Korean crossed the line first in the men’s 1,500-meter short track, setting off a huge roar from the capacity crowd at Gangneung Ice Arena.
Defending Olympic champion Charles Hamelin of Canada was penalized for impeding and finished far back anyway.
Lim surged past Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands and finished about two blade lengths ahead in an Olympic-record time of 2 minutes, 10.485 seconds.
Knegt settled for the silver medal, while the bronze went to Semen Elistratov, who became Russia’s first medalist of the games.
Russia was banned from the Olympics for a massive doping scheme, but Elistratov is among 168 competitors allowed in as “Olympic Athletes From Russia.”
The Koreans have made Olympic history with the puck dropping in their first Olympic game with their women’s hockey lineup featuring three North Koreans under an unprecedented agreement.
And a North Korean forward nearly gave the historic combined team a lead.
Jong Su Hyon shot the puck from the left circle on a power play in the first period only to catch the crossbar, glancing off harmlessly.
Then Switzerland responded by jumping out to a 2-0 lead, scoring 61 seconds apart midway through the period
Trailing didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of home fans, who kept chanting in support with the North Korean cheerleaders rinkside leading the cheers. During a timeout, the cheerleaders tried to start fans doing the wave only to see that trickle out as play resumed.
The Dutch resumed where they left off four years ago, dominating the Olympic speedskating Oval and getting a clean sweep of medals in the women’s 3,000 meters, with outsider Carlijn Achtereekte leading the way.
Achtereekte raced in the first half of the program with the also-rans, but her time of 3 minutes, 59.21 seconds was good as gold as double 3,000-meter Olympic champion Ireen Wust finished .08 seconds behind.
Bronze went to Antoinette de Jong for the amazing Dutch sweep.
In Sochi four years ago, the Netherlands won 23 of 36 medals. They’ve started 3 for 3 at the Pyeongchang Games.
Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier wasn’t just good. She was perfect.
The 24-year-old budding biathlon star hit all 10 targets to win her first gold medal in the women’s 7.5-kilometer sprint on Saturday night at the Pyeongchang Games.
Dahlmeier had won five of six possible medals at last year’s World Championships. Coincidentally, the one event she didn’t win was this one.
She appeared exhausted as she finished, falling to the ground, her face inches from the snow and her skis spread apart in a frog-like position.
Only three women out of 86 competitors hit all 10 targets on a cold and blustery night. However, the other two failed to crack the top 15 because they took too long to shoot those targets.
Norway’s Marte Olsbu captured the silver medal and Veronika Vitkova from the Czech Republic took home the bronze.
South Korea recovered from a crash to earn a place in the women’s 3,000-meter relay final at short-track speedskating.
The South Koreans won their semifinal heat on Saturday night, drawing wild cheers from the home crowd at the packed Gangneung Ice Arena.
Canada also advanced to Tuesday’s final, along with China and Italy.
The U.S. women didn’t qualify for the event.
The field is set for the men’s 1,500-meter short-track speedskating final.
After the crash-filled semifinals, nine skaters advanced to the final later Saturday night.
Among them is defending Olympic champion Charles Hamelin of Canada.
American J.R. Celski finished sixth and last in his semifinal heat and didn’t advance after being penalized. Joining Celski on the sidelines was his teammate John-Henry Krueger, who also got penalized.
World record holder Sjinkie Knegt will try to become the first Dutch short-track speedskater to win an Olympic title in the chaotic sport.
Among others in the 1,500 final are Liu Shaolin Sandor of Hungary, Lim Hyo-jun and Hwang Dae-heon, both of South Korea, and Semen Elistratov, a Russian skater who is competing under the Olympic flag at the games.
Coach Sarah Murray is playing three North Korean forwards as required in the deal creating the first combined Korean team in Olympic history.
The women’s hockey coach faced some tough decisions after negotiations led to 12 North Korean players being added to her roster on Jan. 25. She had to scratch three of her South Korean players for Saturday’s game against Switzerland at the Kwandong Hockey Center.
The North Korean forwards are Kim Un Hyang, Jong Su Hyon and Hwang Chung Gum.
Neither country has played women’s ice hockey in the Olympics before. South Korea only received a berth as a host country.
Fans cheered as the Koreans took the ice for pregame warmups.
But the cheers might have been louder if not for a backup outside the arena getting fans through the gates.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier says there’s hope the “tender dialogue” between the Koreas at Pyeongchang will foster an improvement in diplomatic relations beyond the Olympics.
Steinmeier visited the German House in Pyeongchang as medal competition was getting was underway.
He says only months ago there were doubts over North Korea’s participation in the Olympics. He says, “Certainly three weeks ago no one would have thought that there would be a united team which entered the stadium together.”
The rare invitation to Pyongyang for South Korean President Moon Jae-in, delivered by Kim Jong Un’s sister, has accelerated the diplomatic warming.
By those measures, Steinmeier say, “What we’re seeing right now is at least a sign.” He says he’s not sure it can hold long term but notes, “At least you can have hope.”
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and South Korean President Moon Jae-in are chatting while watching Olympic speedskaters compete just hours after Moon received a historic invitation to visit North Korea.
Aides did not immediately say whether the invitation was discussed as the two sat next to each other viewing several heats Saturday.
They were seated not far from a section of North Korean cheerleaders who attended the Olympics in a sign of warming ties between the two Koreas that Pence and other U.S. officials have warned against.
Moon and North Korea’s 90-year-old ceremonial head of state will jointly attend the unified Korean women’s ice hockey team’s first match later Saturday evening with Pence.
American teenager Maame Biney is safely through to the quarterfinals of the 500 meters in her short-track Olympic debut.
The 18-year-old speedskater finished second in her heat behind China’s Fan Kexin on Saturday night. Biney was born in Ghana and moved to the U.S. as a 5-year-old.
The other American, Lana Gehring, was eliminated after finishing third in her heat. Only the top two skaters in each heat advance.
Among the big names moving on to Tuesday’s quarterfinals are Canadian teammates Kim Boutin and Marianne St-Gelais, Italy’s Arianna Fontana, Britain’s Elise Christie and South Korea’s Choi Min-jeong.
Shim Suk-hee of South Korea was a three-time medalist at the Sochi Games but was eliminated Saturday after finishing third in her heat.
Korean fans are very, very excited about making history with their combined women’s hockey team at the Pyeongchang Games.
Hundreds of fans waved flags with many featuring the Korean Peninsula, and they chanted while waiting outside in gusting winds for officials to open the doors at the Kwandong Hockey Center 90 minutes before Korea plays Switzerland.
A capacity crowd of 6,000 is expected for the game, with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korea’s 90-year-old nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam, among them.
The men boarded a train for Gangneung after lunch in Seoul with Kim Yo Jong, sister of Kim Jong Un.
It’s unclear if she will be joining the leaders to watch a roster featuring 12 North Koreans.
The first night of short-track speedskating is underway at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
All three Americans have advanced to the semifinals of the men’s 1,500 meters. Three-time Olympian J.R. Celski and John-Henry Krueger nearly fell in their heats, while a crash involving two skaters allowed Aaron Tran to move on in the 13 Â½-lap race.
South Korea’s three skaters – Hwang Dae-heon, Lim Hyo-jun and Seo Yira – also qualified for the semis to the delight of the home crowd, which roared any time one of their skaters was in the lead. Short track is hugely popular in the host country.
World record holder Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands safely moved on, as did defending Olympic champion Charles Hamelin of Canada.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen are in the crowd.
Vice President Mike Pence is cheering on U.S. speedskaters at the Winter Olympics before departing South Korea for Washington.
Pence and his wife are viewing the short-track competition Saturday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife. Eight Americans are participating in the event.
It’s the final stop on a six-day trip that Pence hoped would increase pressure on North Korea as it seeks to use the games to pursue an opening with the South.
Pence’s efforts to keep the spotlight on North Korea’s nuclear program and human rights abuses have taken a back seat to the widely viewed images of the two Koreas marching under one flag during Friday night’s opening ceremony – and to the invitation by dictator Kim Jong Un for South Korean President Moon Jae-in to visit the North.
Norwegian cross-country skiing star Marit Bjoergen says this will be her final Olympics.
Bjoergen has won her 11th Olympic medal, taking silver in the 15-kilometer skiathlon, making her the most decorated female Winter Olympian ever.
The 37-year-old is still hoping to pass biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, who has 13 podium finishes, before the end of these Olympic Games. She won’t say how many races she plans to participate in in Pyeongchang, only that she will participate in the women’s sprint on Tuesday.
“I haven’t thought about that. For sure it’s my last Olympics, but for me, I have to focus on doing good races,” Bjoergen said. “I think when I’m finished with the Olympics I can look behind me and see how many medals I have. For me it’s important to do the race and have the focus there.”
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven is hailing Charlotte Kalla, who won the first gold medal of the Pyeongchang Olympics.
Lofven wrote on Instagram “Sweden’s first gold hero at the Olympic Games! Congratulations Kalla.”
Kalla won gold ahead of Norwegian cross-country skier Marit Bjoergen in the women’s 15-kilometer skiathlon.
Sara Hjalmarsson scored 1:53 into the third period and Sweden held off Japan 2-1 in a thrilling game to open the preliminary round for women’s ice hockey at the Pyeongchang Games.
This was only Japan’s third appearance in the Olympics for women’s ice hockey, and they had to start off pool play against a country that took home silver in 2006 and bronze in 2002.
Sweden took a 1-0 lead 2:21 into the game when Fanny Rask scored from a tough angle, squeezing the puck between Nana Fujimoto’s head and the post.
The Japanese tied it up with 3:08 left in the second period.
The Swedes took the lead back thanks to a great takeaway by Erika Grahm who then passed the puck backward to Hjalmarsson in the slot for the go-ahead goal.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is not directly addressing news that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a visit, as the two Koreas use the Olympics as an opportunity for renewing ties amid concerns over North Korea’s nuclear capabilities.
Pence spokeswoman Alyssa Farah says, “The vice president is grateful that President Moon reaffirmed his strong commitment to the global maximum pressure campaign and for his support for continued sanctions.”
Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, delivered the invitation to Moon on Saturday.
Pence has meant to use his trip to the Olympics to caution the South against “falling for” the North’s overtures, which in the past have been used as stall tactics to allow for continued development of its nuclear program.
More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org