Sochi 2014, Day 12: What’s on this Wednesday?
There are three giant slaloms on the programme at Rosa Khutor, one in men’s Alpine skiing and the other two in snowboard, with the men and women each going for gold in their respective giant parallel slalom event. The day’s biathlon race is the exciting new mixed relay (2x6km + 2x7.5km), with more medals waiting to be won in cross-country skiing in the men’s and women’s team sprint classic. Runs three and four of the women’s two-man bob then take place at the Sanki Sliding Centre, while the Ice Cube Curling Centre hosts the men’s curling semi-finals and the Adler Arena provides the setting for the women’s 5,000m speed skating final.
Flashback to Vancouver 2010Second title for Czech speed skater Sablikova, as Canada’s Humphries makes history in the bob.
Alpine skiing, men’s giant slalom: Switzerland’s Carlo Janka was in sparkling form heading into Vancouver and would eventually go on to win the FIS World Cup. He underlined his rich form at Whistler Creekside by dominating the first run and then maintaining his advantage in the second to win by 0.39 seconds from Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud. Janka’s fellow Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal taking the bronze, his third medal of Vancouver 2010. Austrian youngster Marcel Hirscher finished fourth, but will be among the favourites for gold on the slopes of Rosa Khutor.
Snowboard, men’s and women’s giant parallel slalom events: Swiss snowboarder Philipp Schoch, the first Olympic champion in the event, was absent at Vancouver 2010. That left his brother Simon, who finished runner-up to him at Turin 2006, to fly the flag for family and country, though his bid came to an end when he was eliminated by Russia’s Stanislav Detkov in the quarter-finals. The final pitched Canada’s Jasey-Jay Anderson against Austria’s Benjamin Karl. Though Karl won the first leg, Anderson came back to take the second and the Olympic title. Meanwhile, France’s Mathieu Bozzetto beat Detkov to the bronze.
The women’s gold went to the Netherlands’ Nicolien Sauerbreij, who saw off Yekaterina Ilyukhina of Russia in the final. Austria’s Marion Kreiner beat Germany’s Selina Jörg to complete the podium. Anderson is back to defend his title in Sochi, maintaining his remarkable record of being an ever present in the men’s Alpine snowboarding events since they first appeared on the Winter Olympic programme in Nagano way back in 1998!
Cross-country skiing, men’s and women’s team sprint classic: The sprint events were skied freestyle at Vancouver, where Norwegian duo Oystein Pettersen and Petter Northug edged out German pair Tim Tscharnke and Axel Teichmann in the final. Russia’s Nikolay Morilov and Alexey Petukhov finished 0.02 seconds behind in third.
The women’s gold went to Germany’s Evi Schenbacher-Stehle and Claudia Nystad, who shaded the Swedish duo, formed by 10km champion Charlotte Kalla and Anna Haag, by 0.06 seconds. Russia’s Irina Khazova and Natalya Korostelyova came in third. Four years on and the Swedish, Norwegians and Russians are again likely to be the teams to beat in Sochi.
Speed skating, women’s 5,000m: Newly crowned 3,000m champion Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic won her second gold of the Games, setting a new Richmond Olympic Oval record of 6:50.92 to win by nearly half a second from Stephanie Beckert of Germany. Canadian skater Clara Hughes finished over four seconds back in third. Sablikova be back in action to defend her title in Sochi.
Bobsleigh, women’s two-man: Canada 1 driver Kaillie Humphries and her brakewoman Heather Moyse set consecutive start records in the first three runs of the competition and safely negotiated the final run to win their country’s first ever women’s bobsleigh gold. The Canada 2 team formed by Helen Upperton and Shelley-Ann Brown made it a notable one-two for the hosts, while Erin Pac and Elana Meyers in USA 2 pocketed the bronze. Now the world number one, Humphries will very much be the driver to beat in Sochi.
Biathlon, mixed relay: This event is making its Olympic debut at Sochi 2014.