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OLYMPICS

Olympics: ‘Super Dario’ wins Switzerland its first gold medal in South Korea

Dario Cologna has made Olympic history by winning the men’s 15km cross-country freestyle ski event for the third time in a row.

Olympics: ‘Super Dario’ wins Switzerland its first gold medal in South Korea
Dario Cologna celebrates on the podium. Photo: Odd Andersen/AFP
Cologna crossed the line 18 seconds ahead of Norway’s Simen Hegstad Krueger to take the gold medal in Pyeongchang, retaining the title he also won in Vancouver and Sochi.  
 
The 31-year-old from the Val Müstair in the canton of Graubünden becomes the first cross-country skier to win a hat trick in the same event. 
 
 
Now with a total of four gold medals to his name – he also won the skiathlon in Sochi – he also becomes Switzerland’s joint most successful Winter Olympian, along with ski jumper Simon Ammann. 
 
Also on Friday, Wendy Holdener became the first female Swiss skier in 24 years to win a medal in women's slalom when she took silver. 
 

RUSSIA

Russian athletes lose appeal over Olympics ban

Forty-seven Russians implicated in doping lost a last-minute court bid to take part in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Friday, just hours before the opening ceremony.

Russian athletes lose appeal over Olympics ban
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
The applicants, who included Korean-born speed skater Victor An, had asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn an International Olympic Committee decision not to invite them to Pyeongchang.
   
“The applications filed by Russian athletes and coaches have been dismissed,” the CAS said in a statement.
   
The Russian situation has proved highly contentious in the build-up to Pyeongchang, after their team was banned but a certain number of “clean” Russian athletes were allowed to take part as neutrals.
   
Fifteen of those who lost their bids on Friday were among a group of 28 who controversially had life bans from the Olympics overturned last week by CAS, which cited insufficient evidence.
  
The other 32, including An, biathlon gold medallist Anton Shipulin and Sergei Ustyugov, a cross-country skiing world champion, were omitted from the list of Russians invited to Pyeongchang.
   
“In its decisions, the CAS arbitrators have considered that the process created by the IOC to establish an invitation list of Russian athletes to compete as Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) could not be described as a sanction but rather as an eligibility decision,” CAS said.
   
However, the CAS decision may not be the end of the matter. A source close to the IOC has told AFP that the 47 Russians have also lodged a case with a Swiss civil court in Lausanne.
   
A spokesman for the neutral Russian team, the 'Olympic Athletes from Russia', declined to comment when approached by AFP.