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Russia's Soknikova Wins Gold in Figure Skating

Adelina Soknikova won Russia's first-ever Olympic figure staking gold medal in stunning fashion Thursday, upsetting defending champion Kim Yuna Thursday at the Sochi Games.

The 17-year-old Soknikova posted a score of 224.59, 5.48 points ahead of Kim, the silver medalist. Italy's Carolina Kostner took bronze.

Kim had been bidding to become just the third woman to win back-to-back Olympic titles after Norway's Sonja Henie, a triple winner between 1928 and 1936, and Germany's Katarina Witt in 1984 and 1988.

Also Thursday, France swept the medals in an event for the first time at the Winter Olympics. Jean Frederic Chapuis won the gold medal to lead the French in skicross. Arnaud Bovolenta took silver and Jonathan Midol captured bronze.

Skicross is often considered part of freestyle skiing because it incorporates terrain features traditionally found in freestyle.

This was the sixth podium sweep at the Sochi Games, adding to four by the Dutch speedskating teams and one by the U.S. men's slopestyle ski squad.

Elsewhere, Norway won the Nordic combined team competition for its 10th gold medal, the most thus far at the Sochi Games. The Norwegians finished third in the ski jump, but cross-country specialist Magnus Mon made up the difference in the first leg of the 20-kilometer pursuit race.

Germany took silver and Austria bronze.

In women's curling, Canada beat Sweden, 6-3, to win the gold medal in the sport for the first time since 1998. The Canadians had lost in the 2010 final in Vancouver to the Swedes, who were seeking a third straight title on Thursday. Britain won the bronze medal with a 6-5 win over Switzerland.

Also, American freestyle skier Maddie Bowman won the gold medal in the women's halfpipe, a new event where contestants perform somersaults and other tricks. Bowman scored an impressive 89 points to edge out France's Marie Martinod.



In women's ice hockey, Switzerland rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat Sweden, 4-3, for the bronze medal. Florence Schelling made 28 saves for the Swiss, who earned their first Olympic medal since 1998.

Fierce rivals Canada and the United States and Canada are battling in the gold medal game.

The United States leads in the overall medal count with 24, followed by Russia with 23, the Netherlands with 22, Norway with 21 and Canada with 19.
In gold medals, Norway leads with 10, and the U.S. and Germany are tied with eight apiece.
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