Domracheva clinches gold hat-trick

The Bolton News: Biathlete Darya Domracheva celebrates victory in the women's 12.5km mass start Biathlete Darya Domracheva celebrates victory in the women's 12.5km mass start

Belarusian biathlete Darya Domracheva claimed a hat-trick of gold medals in Sochi after triumphing in the women's 12.5km mass start.

The 27-year-old made a positive start and took what would prove to be a crucial lead after roughly a quarter of the race was completed.

She would not surrender that advantage and sealed yet another success at the Winter Olympics, following golds in the 15km individual and the 10km pursuit.

"It's amazing to be here because I dreamed about it, to be an Olympic champion, from my childhood. But to get three - dreams do come true," she said.

Domracheva's time of 35 minutes 25.6 seconds was just over 20 seconds quicker than her nearest rival, with Gabriela Soukalova earning silver and Norwegian Tiril Eckhoff claiming bronze.

Meryl Davis and Charlie White became the first couple from the United States to win ice dance gold in an exciting night of figure skating at the Iceberg Skating Palace.

The duo posted a new record total score with 195.52 points, made up of another record of 78.89 points for finishing first in the short programme on Sunday night and a season's best from the free dance routine.

It was enough to leapfrog Canadian rivals Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who pipped Davis and White to gold at Vancouver 2010.

With a tally of 190.99 they had to settle for silver in what was set to be their last competitive appearance while, to huge roars from the local fans, Russian couple Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov came third with 183.48.

Alexander Zubkov smashed the track record to steer hosts Russia to two-man bobsleigh gold at the Sanki Sliding Center.

Zubkov and brake-man Alexey Voevoda stretched their overnight lead with a third run of 56.08 seconds when they returned to the track on Monday night.

And a fourth and final run of 56.49secs proved enough for Zubkov to take gold with a 0.66secs advantage over silver medallist Beat Hefti of Switzerland.

Hefti, a three-time former Olympic bronze medallist, finally upgraded to silver with two solid final runs to see off Steven Holcomb of the United States by 0.22 seconds.

Germany made Winter Olympics history after claiming a third gold medal in the men's ski jumping team final at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Centre.

Despite trailing to Austria heading into the penultimate round of jumps, Andreas Wellinger and Severin Freund put in impressive leaps to prize gold away from their neighbours and help Germany become the first country to win three gold medals in the event since its inception in 1998.

In what proved to be an intensely competitive final, Freund's jump of 131.0 - the last of the evening - meant that Germany took the title with a score of 1041.1, just 2.7 points ahead of their close rivals.

Austria took the silver medal, having won gold in the previous two Games, with a score of 1038.4, while Japan claimed bronze on 1024.9 points.

Anton Kushnir made it double gold-medal glory for Belarus after he claimed victory in the men's freestyle skiing aerial final at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. He watched countrywoman Alla Tsuper take gold in the women's equivalent on Friday.

David Morris of Australia took silver, while China's Jia Zongyang claimed bronze.

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