sport

Domracheva completes hat-trick

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

The 27-year-old made a positive start in Sochi 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, 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 Winter Olympic ice dance gold in an exciting night of figure skating at the Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi.

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 take gold away from their neighbours and ensure Germany become the first country to win three gold medals in the event since its inception in 1988.

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 Winter Olympics gold-medal glory for Belarus after he claimed victory in the men's freestyle skiing aerial final at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

Having watched countrywoman Alla Tsuper take gold in the women's equivalent on Friday, Kushnir leaped to glory with a final round score of 134.50 points despite initially needing a second jump to qualify for the final.

The 29-year-old Ukrainian-born Belarusian wins his first medal in the aerials, having competed at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympic Games previously.

David Morris of Australia took silver with a score of 110.41 while China's Jia Zongyang claimed bronze with 95.06.

Earlier in the day, the men's snowboard cross event and the men's biathlon 15km mass start fell victim to heavy fog which enveloped the mountain cluster. Both events have been rescheduled for Tuesday.