SOCHI - Norway won a double gold in the cross-country freestyle sprints at the Sochi Olympics on Tuesday, with Maiken Caspersen Falla taking the women's title and Ola Vigen Hattestad capturing the men's in a race marred by a three-skier collision. Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg of Norway also won silver in the women's sprint. The three medals give the Scandinavian country a total of 102 in cross-country skiing since the Winter Olympics began in 1924.
Emil Joensson of Sweden, who had all but given up earlier in the men's race, grabbed the bronze after Sergey Ustiugov of Russia, Marcus Hellner of Sweden and Anders Gloeersen of Norway were involved in a crash that left them sprawled across the course. Soft snow caused a number of spills throughout the day.
Canadian Dara Howell won the gold in women's slopestyle skiing, but her victory was tempered by teammate Yuki Tsubota's crash on the slushy snow. She was carried off the mountain on a stretcher with a possible fractured jaw. Russian Anna Mirtova wiped out during both of her final runs in the event and said she's heading for knee surgery.
Swiss Iouri Podladtchikov produced one of the big upsets of the Olympics as he dethroned superstar Shaun White to win men's snowboard halfpipe gold. American White, the two-time defending champion, didn't even make it onto the podium as he was shunted off by a pair of Japanese teenagers.
Podladtchikov scored a mammoth 94.75 points with 15-year-old Ayumu Hirano second on 93.50 and 18-year-old Taku Hiraoka third on 92.25. White, who had scored 95.75 in topping the heats, hit the lip of the pipe on his first run and touched down with his backside on his second, finishing fourth with a score of 90.25.
Darya Domracheva of Belarus destroyed her Norwegian and Russian rivals in the women's 10 km biathlon pursuit to take her country's first gold at the Sochi. Domaracheva, 27, came across the line in 29min 30.7sec, 37.6sec ahead of her nearest rival Tora Berger of Norway, who took silver. Bronze went to Teja Gregorin of Slovenia (30:12.7). Hosts Russia missed out gold again, with their highest placed athlete Olga Vilukhina coming just seventh.
Unbeatable South Korean Lee Sang-Hwa destroyed the field to retain her 500m speed skating crown in a new Olympic record time. Lee, 24, who has proved untouchable in 2013/14, winning all seven World Cup races she has entered, notched a combined time of 74.70sec from her two races. Russia's Olga Fatkulina (75.06) took silver while the Netherlands' Margot Boer (75.48) won bronze. Lee broke the 500m world record four times in 2013, trimming the mark from 36.80 to 36.36 seconds.
Germany's Natalie Geisenberger won her first Olympic gold medal in women's luge singles and the second for her country in three days. Another German, Tatjana Huefner, who came to Sochi as reigning champion, was second, 1.139sec behind the winner, while Erin Hamlin finished in third place winning the US team's first singles medal after 50 years of trying. Compatriot Felix Loch won the men's event on Sunday.