When it comes to gold at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, everyone is still trying to catch up to Germany. Buoyed by a four-event, first-place sweep in the luge competitions, the European nation has seven golds, more than any other country.
Friday marked Day 7 of the Winter Games and there were six more gold medals handed out to athletes from four different countries.
As far as American success goes, women's skeleton rider Noelle Pikus-Pace earned a silver to become the only U.S. athlete to reach the podium. Still, Team USA is tied with Norway atop the overall medal count leaderboard with 13.
Here's a look at the latest round of winners, an updated medal count for the entire Winter Games and analysis of Friday's featured gold medalists.
|Men's Super Combined||Sandro Viletta (SUI)||Ivica Kostelic (CRO)||Christof Innerhofer (ITA)|
|Women's 15km Biathlon||Darya Domracheva (BLR)||Selina Gasparina (SUI)||Nadezhda Skardino (BLR)|
|Men's 15km Cross Country Classic||Dario Cologna (SUI)||Johan Olsson (SWE)||Daniel Richardsson (SWE)|
|Men's Figure Skating||Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN)||Patrick Chan (CAN)||Denis Ten (KAZ)|
|Women's Aerials||Alla Tsuper (BLR)||Mengtao Xu (CHN)||Lydia Lassila (AUS)|
|Women's Skeleton||Elizabeth Yarnold (GBR)||Noelle Pikus-Pace (USA)||Elena Nikitina (RUS)|
Yuzuru Hanyu Wins Men's Figure Skating
Riding the momentum of his jaw-dropping performance in the short program on Thursday, Japanese figure skating star Yuzuru Hanyu finished the deed on Friday.
Hanyu fended off fellow top contender Patrick Chan of Canada a day after becoming the first man to eclipse the 100-point barrier in the short program with his score of 101.45. While Chan has historically been the better free program skater of the two, Hanyu outclassed him with a total of 178.64 on Friday while Chan scored a 178.10.
Gold medal in the men’s free skate goes to Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN), silver- Patrick Chan (CAN) & bronze- Denis Ten (KAZ)! pic.twitter.com/kPumL0Yabn— Sochi 2014 (@Sochi2014) February 14, 2014
Rounding out the medal winners in the event was Kazakhstan's Denis Ten, who scored a 171.04 in the free skate to vault into third place and past Spain's Javier Fernandez despite placing ninth in Thursday's short program.
It wraps up a great run by Hanyu, who entered the Olympics riding a peak of success and was able to carry that through the Winter Games.
Since he'll be only 23 at the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea, it doesn't seem like this is the end for Hanyu, but perhaps just the beginning of his global domination in the sport.
Belarus Brings Home Two Golds
Fifth time's the charm. Just ask Belarus' Alla Tsuper.
The Sochi Olympics marked the fifth and final Winter Games for the 34-year-old, and given that she didn't medal at her four previous experiences, much wasn't expected during Friday's women's aerials final.
Well, forget that.
Tsuper stunned everyone by pulling off a score of 98.01 to defeat silver medalist Xu Mengtao of China, who had a late miscue that resulted in a 83.50-point score. In third place, 2010 gold-medal winner Lydia Lassila took bronze after failing to execute a difficult jump during the competition.
Joining Tsuper as a gold medalist for Belarus was Darya Domracheva, who also claimed the gold in the women's biathlon 10-kilometer pursuit race on Tuesday.
For a country that never had a female gold medalist in the history of the Winter Games, Belarus is doing well in Sochi.
Two First-Place Finishes for Switzerland
Belarus wasn't the only two-time gold medal winner on Friday in Sochi, as the Swiss accounted for two first-place finishes.
Men's super combined skiier Sandro Viletta provided another Olympic surprise on Day 7 as he toppled a group of high-profile competitors to earn his first career gold medal. Meanwhile, favored Americans Bode Miller (sixth) and Ted Ligety (12th) failed to medal.
Viletta took the gold with a time of two minutes, 45.20 seconds, ahead of Croatian silver medal-winner Ivica Kostelic and Italian bronze medalist Christof Innerhofer.
"This is amazing, it's perfect, it's more than a dream come true," Viletta told Rob Hodgetts of BBC Sport. "It's also a big shock. I didn't think I would come first. I'm so happy."
Later in the day, cross country skiier Dario Cologna claimed his second gold of the Winter Games for Switzerland, winning the 15-kilometer classic race handily with a time of 38 minutes, 29.7 seconds. It marked the third gold of his career, as he won the 30-kilometer skiathlon in Sochi and the 15-kilometer freestyle race in Vancouver in 2010.
In all, that's five golds for Switzerland, who ranks among the world's best when it comes to first-place finishes so far in Sochi.