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Sochi 2014: Farrington takes gold for U.S. in women's halfpipe

updated 4:27 PM EST, Wed February 12, 2014
Sidney Crosby celebrates after scoring Canada's second goal during the men's ice hockey gold medal match against Sweden on Sunday, February 23. Most of us know the Winter Olympics through the power of television, as a spectacle in constant motion. Seeing the Games through still photography is a different experience altogether. Here's a look at the most compelling images from the word's best photographers at Sochi 2014. | <i>More photos:</i> <i><a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/08/worldsport/gallery/falling-down-in-sochi/index.html'>Falling down in Sochi </a></i> Sidney Crosby celebrates after scoring Canada's second goal during the men's ice hockey gold medal match against Sweden on Sunday, February 23. Most of us know the Winter Olympics through the power of television, as a spectacle in constant motion. Seeing the Games through still photography is a different experience altogether. Here's a look at the most compelling images from the word's best photographers at Sochi 2014. | More photos: Falling down in Sochi
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Kaitlyn Farrington succeeds where Shaun White failed winning women's halfpipe final on Wednesday
  • Stefan Groothuis takes a four gold for the Dutch to take medal tally to 10 overall -- all won in speed skating
  • Dutch speed skaters continue amazing run at Adler Arena taking gold and bronze in men's 1,000m
  • Germans continue gold rush at the Sanki Sliding Center taking luge men's doubles title

(CNN) -- Kaitlyn Farrington made up for Shaun White's slip up in the men's halfpipe taking gold for the U.S. in the women's final at the Sochi Winter Olympics on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old from Salt Lake City, who was making her Olympic debut, beat defending champion Torah Bright from Australia by the tightest of margins to claim the U.S.'s third gold of the Games.

In a tense final, Farrington gained a score of 91.75 points in her second run edging out Bright, who won gold in Vancouver four years ago, by just 0.25.

"I couldn't be more happy," Farrington said.

"I have no idea how I did it. I had a blast out there. Both my parents are here so I'm glad I could share this moment with them. It's definitely more special than any other podium."

Day 5 medal leaders

(G, S, B)

6-1-1 Germany

4-4-2 Canada

4-3-5 Norway

4-2-4 Netherlands

3-1-5 United States

3-0-1 Switzerland

2-4-3 Russia

America's Kelly Clark, a bronze medalist in 2010, had to settle for third again after scoring 90.75 in the final run of the competition after taking a tumble in her first effort.

"I'm so proud of Kaitlyn and so happy for her to come out and walk away a champion," a magnanimous Clark said afterwards.

"She loves snowboarding more than most people and it's refreshing to see someone who does it for the fun of it to walk away with a medal."

There was drama earlier in the day as women's downhill saw Dominique Gisin and Tina Maze from Slovenia share the gold for the first time in Olympic history after clocking exactly the same time.

Switzerland's Gisin, who has not won a World Cup downhill race since 2009 and whose best finish in the downhill this season is seventh, had appeared set to claim gold outright after finishing with a run of 1 minute 41.57 seconds.

But last year's overall World Cup champion Maze had other ideas -- powering through the course in the exact same time to take a share of the spoils.

Dutch clinch fourth speed skating gold

Stefan Groothuis has previously battled depression and even contemplated suicide, but Wednesday was a day of unadulterated joy for the Dutch speed skater.

The 32-year-old claimed gold in the 1,000m as the Netherlands completed another memorable day at the Adler Arena.

Groothuis' time of one minute 08.39 seconds pipped silver medalist Denny Morrison of Canada by 0.04 seconds with 500m winner Michel Mulder, also from the Netherlands, claiming the bronze.

"It's unbelievable," Groothuis said. "When I started, I didn't even know what the best time was and when I crossed the finish line, I was really surprised. It was the best time I've ever skated on a low-altitude track.

"It's great but it's also very strange. The last few days I've been thinking about it and suddenly I am Olympic champion. It's strange but I will get used to it."

However, there was disappointment for America's Shani Davis who failed in his bid to win a third consecutive Olympic title. The 31-year-old, who skated to gold in the 1,000m at Turin in 2006 and Vancouver four years later, could only manage eighth on this occasion.

The Dutch, who took a clean sweep of the medals in the men's 5,000m on the opening day of competition, have now claimed four gold medals and 10 overall at the Adler Arena.

There was also figure skating joy for hosts Russia in the Iceberg Skating Palace as Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov took their second gold of the games and restored the natural order in Olympic pairs.

The Soviet Union and Russia had won every Olympic pairs title from 1964 to 2006 but failed to medal in Vancouver in 2010.

Volosozhar and Trankov, who had already won gold in Sunday's team trophy, were not about to let the home crowd down and led from the start to clinch the title ahead of compatriots Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov.

Germany's Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy took their second Olympic bronze.

"It was very hard today, we didn't sleep well last night," Trankov revealed after the win.

"We wanted to skate well in front of the Russian people. This gold medal is for all the Russian people, especially because we dominated pairs skating from the Olympics in 1964.

"Then we lost the gold in Vancouver and everyone was waiting for us to take it back, and we have taken not just the gold medal but the silver too. Now I think Russian pairs are the elite skaters in the world."

German continue sliding success

Germany continued their dominance of the Olympic luge competition as Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt won gold in the doubles event.

The reigning world champions set a new course record on their first run clocking a time of 49.373 seconds and followed it up with a time of 49.560 seconds on their second run.

Tech takes speed skating to the next level
Soviet soldier's Sochi comeback
Sochi's lonely protester
Shopping for Olympic souvenirs in Sochi

The combined time saw them finish 0.552 seconds ahead of Austrian brothers Andreas and Wolfgang Linger, who took the Olympic title in both Vancouver and Turin.

Andris and Juris Sics from Latvia took the bronze.

Germany has now claimed all three gold medals in the luge at Sochi with wins in the men's singles (Felix Loch) on Sunday and the women's (Natalie Geisenberger) Tuesday.

Gold in the team relay competition on Thursday will complete a clean sweep.

German joy wasn't confined to the sliding center as Eric Frenzel added another gold to the team's tally in the first of three Nordic combined events at Sochi.

Wednesday's competition saw a field of 46 complete a ski jump on the normal hill at the RusSki Gorki Ski Jumping Center before racing each other over 10 km cross country course.

The 25-year-old headed the field after jumping 131.5m which translated into a six-second lead over second-placed Akito Watabe of Japan who jumped 130m.

It was a narrow lead but Frenzel didn't squander it finishing four seconds ahead of Watabe in a time of 23 minutes 50.3 seconds. Magnus Krog from Norway battled to the bronze after finishing 20th in the ski-jumping.

"It's so amazing, I can't describe this feeling, it's so perfect," Fretzel said.

Six golds are up for grabs on Thursday, including the men's freestyle skiing slopestyle and the women's cross country 10 km classical.

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