Gangwon 2024 Day 11: Mao Shimada wins gold for Japan in figure skating. GETTY IMAGES

Germany added a cross-country skiing gold to their medal tally thanks to the performance of Jackob Elias Doche. This boosted their chances of overtaking Italy on the medal tally at Gangwon 2024, after a day without results for the Italians.

With 11 gold medals, Italy is on course to lead the way at Gangwon 2024, more than doubling its tally of five at the previous three editions of the Winter Youth Olympic Games. On the 11th day of competition, however, Italy came away empty-handed.

They failed to pick up any more precious metals. However, their closest rivals, Germany, added a gold medal to their tally thanks to their absolute dominance in the 7.5 km classic cross-country skiing event. Jackob Elias Moch beat his teammate Jonas Mueller to show that Germany were the favourites in the competition. Elias Moch finished in 19:47.2 and Mueller in 19:52.6. The bronze medal went to Quentin Lespine of France. He finished in 19:54.1.

Nelli-Lotta Karppelin (Finland) took gold in the women's 7.5 km classic in 22:19.6, ahead of Agathe Margreither (22:20.1) and Annette Coupat (both France) in 22:32.2. It was the second gold medal in 24 hours for Nelli-Lotta Karppelin.

Next up was figure skating, where the equality of the competitors and the attractiveness of the sport guaranteed a spectacle. First of all, France won the ice dance with a very effective performance and a minimum of mistakes by the pair of Ambre Perrier-Gianesini and Samuel Blanc Klaperman 155.35 (62.39 rhythmic/92.96 free dance).

France's Ambre Perrier-Gianesini and Samuel Blanc Klaperman gave a brilliant performance. GETTY IMAGES
France's Ambre Perrier-Gianesini and Samuel Blanc Klaperman gave a brilliant performance. GETTY IMAGES

All eyes were on the women's singles. Japan's Mao Shimada was the favourite. Her compatriot Yo Tagaki was also in contention, as was Korea's Jia Shin. Shimada lived up to expectations with a spectacular, dynamic performance, outlasting the Korean, who came close to gold but had to settle for a commendable silver in front of her home crowd at the Gangneung Ice Arena, who supported her until the very end.

All eyes were on Mao Shimada and she did not disappoint. GETTY IMAGES
All eyes were on Mao Shimada and she did not disappoint. GETTY IMAGES

Shimada scored 196.99 points, five more than Jia Shin (191.83). Far away from the top two, who put on a beautiful sporting spectacle, the bronze went to another Japanese, Yo Tagaki (183.20). 

The 11th day in Gangwon also saw the men's and women's Nordic Combined normal hill training, as well as the curling qualifiers and the men's and women's 6x6 ice hockey semi-finals.

Mixed doubles curling: 

Group A: Great Britain - Hungary (8-4), Korea - Nigeria (17-1) and Canada - Czech Republic (4-6). 

Group B: Ukraine - USA (1-9), Qatar - Sweden (1-13) and Slovenia - Norway (4-14). 

Group C: Japan - New Zealand (11-2), Latvia - Brazil (6-3) and China - Turkey (13-4). 

Group D: Switzerland - Austria (9-3), Denmark - Germany (9-4) and Kazakhstan - Italy (10-2).

Ice hockey, semifinals: 

Women’s 6s-Team: Sweden - Germany (6-1) and Switzerland - Japan (1-2). 

Men’s 6s-Team: Czech Republic - Finland (3-1) and Canada - United States (5-6).

"We want to do the same thing as the '98 team in Nagano, so we want to win," Czech captain Ondrej Ruml commented to after reaching the final of the six-team men's hockey tournament at the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympics. "This has been our dream since we were five years old," added Jakub Danek after a 3-1 semi-final win over Finland. 

The Czechs reached the final of the men's ice hockey tournament at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. They defeated Russia to win the title.

Goalkeeper Xavier Wendt was the star of the ice hockey semi-final on Tuesday (30 January) as the United States defeated long-time rivals Canada 6-5 in a shootout.
Wendt made 37 saves in regulation and stopped all three of Canada's penalty attempts in a thrilling finish, reports.

US hockey team playing in the final. IOS/IOC
US hockey team playing in the final. IOS/IOC

US head coach Joe Bonnett was delighted. "We've had three draws here, but, you know, it's a great tournament. It's just the age level. These kids are only 15 years old, they make a lot of mistakes and they tend to have high-scoring games, but it's a lot of fun. And today they hung in there and they were rewarded for all their hard work."

Medal table: 

1. Italy: 8 golds (17 medals in total).

2. Germany: 8 (11).

3. France: 7 (17).

4. China: 5 (16).

5. Austria: 5 (16).