French skier Clement Noel put down a blistering performance to win the Alpine skiing men's slalom gold at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on Wednesday.
Noel's lightning-quick second run gave him a combined total of 1 minute 44.09 seconds to hold off Johannes Strolz, the Austrian former traffic policeman who had already won a gold in the alpine combined event.
"That was one of the most important races in my career," said 24-year-old Noel. "It's one shot – 1 minute and 40 seconds every four years."
World champion Sebastian Foss-Solevaag of Norway held his position and picked up the bronze, finishing 0.70 behind.
Meanwhile, Elvira Oeberg anchored the Swedish team to Olympic gold in the four-person biathlon relay, skiing fast and shooting clean to win her third medal.
Oeberg, who also won silver in the sprint and pursuit races in her Olympic debut, put the Swedes across the line in 1 hour, 11 minutes, 3.9 seconds.
Russian biathlete Uliana Nigmatullina trailed Oeberg by about 24 seconds after the final shooting range and ended up finishing 12 seconds behind for silver.
Denise Herrmann finished third to give Germany bronze, 37.4 seconds behind Oeberg. Herrmann also won gold in the individual race.
In cross-country skiing, Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo completed a second straight double Wednesday by teaming with Erik Valnes to give Norway the gold medal in the team sprint race at the Beijing Games.
Klaebo won the individual sprint and has become the second man to win both the team and individual sprint twice. He did the same in 2018. Klaebo and teammate Erik Valnes skied to the win in 19 minutes, 22.99 seconds.
Joni Maki of Finland stayed ahead of Alexander Terentev of the Russian Olympic Committee to take silver, 2.46 seconds behind Norway. Terentev took the bronze 4.29 seconds back. Maki was partnered with Iivo Niskanen, who won gold in the 15-kilometer classic race. Terentev's teammate was Alexander Bolshunov, who won gold in the skiathlon.
Cross-country skiers Victoria Carl and Katharina Henning of Germany won gold in the women's team sprint.
Their time was 22 minutes, 9.85 seconds. Carl outpaced Swedish sprint champion Jonna Sundling, who won silver with Maja Dhalqvist .17 seconds back.
Natalia Nepryaeva of Russia crossed the line just behind Sundling at .71 seconds. She and Yulia Stupak won the bronze medal.
China's Qi Guangpu finally flipped his way onto an Olympic podium in men's aerials, winning a gold medal after near misses in Sochi and Pyeongchang.
Qi cleanly landed a quint-twisting triple back flip in the medal round Wednesday night, when five of his six competitors tried the same trick and only he did it clean. Qi earned 129 points, easily beating defending champion Oleksandr Abramenko of Ukraine at 116.5.
Ilia Burov of the ROC downgraded to a quad-twisting triple as the event's last competitor, knowing that a clean back full-full-double full would be enough for the podium. He earned bronze at the second straight Olympics.
In the men's ice hockey, Slovakia eliminated the United States in the quarterfinals, stunning the Americans with a tying goal in the final minute of regulation before winning 3-2 in a shootout.
Deprived of its National Hockey League (NHL) stars by the pandemic, the USA squad of relative unknowns had inspired comparisons to the overachieving 1980 gold-medal-winning "Miracle on Ice" team as they went 3-0 in group play.
They were 44 seconds from clinching a spot in the Beijing semifinals when Slovakia's captain Marek Hrivik slotted home to tie it 2-2 and send the game into overtime.
Slovakia scored once in the penalty shootout, leaving USA captain Andy Miele with one last shot, but his effort was smothered by goalie Patrik Rybar.
There was better news for the U.S. with Alexander Hall winning the men's freeski slopestyle gold, taking the title ahead of countryman Nick Goepper.
Canada won the 5,000-meter relay in short-track speedskating, while South Korea's Choi Minjeong successfully defended her 1,500-meter short-track speedskating Olympic title.
With four days of competition remaining, Norway top the medals table with 13 golds, Germany has 10 and the United States has eight.