Another busy day begins with the women’s freestyle ski cross at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park and continues with the bronze medal match in men’s curling. In a packed afternoon, the spotlight then falls on the men’s ice hockey semi-finals, the women’s 4x6km biathlon relay, the men’s curling final, not to mention three short track speed skating finals and the women’s slalom in Alpine skiing.
Flashback to Vancouver 2010
Hamelin and Canada rock the Pacific Coliseum
Freestyle skiing, women’s ski cross: Making light of the falling snow, home skier Ashleigh McIvor led from start to the finish to add another gold to the Canadian tally. Norway’s Hedda Berntsen put in a late burst to snatch silver ahead of Marion Josserand of France. McIvor has since retired, but her compatriot Marielle Thompson, leader on the FIS World Cup circuit, will fancy her chances of taking the title back to Canada again.
Curling, men’s medal matches: Swiss skip Ralph Stöckli scored two points in the final end of the bronze medal match to lead his team to a 5-4 win over a Swedish rink skipped by the young Nicklas Edin. In the battle for gold, meanwhile, Kevin Martin’s Canada eased to a comfortable 6-3 victory over Thomas Uisrud’s Norway.
Canada will defend their title in the gold medal match in Sochi, with Great Britain providing the opposition this time. Sweden, with Edin still at the helm, will contest the bronze medal match against China.
Biathlon, women’s 4x6km relay: The Russian quartet of Svetlana Sleptsova, Anna Bogaliy-Titovets, Olga Medvetseva and Olga Zaitseva won with 32 seconds to spare from France (Marie-Laure Brunet, Sylvie Becaert, Marie Dorin and Sandrine Bailly). The leaders heading into the third leg, the French dropped back to third but were indebted to a superb anchor run by Bailly, who caught and passed Germany’s Martina Beck, consigning Beck and her team-mates Kati Wilhelm, Simone Hauswald and Andrea Henkel to the bronze. Zaitseva will spearhead Russia’s defence of their title in Sochi, with the Germans and French both solid podium contenders again.
Alpine skiing, women’s slalom: Defying the falling snow and limited visibility at Whistler, Germany’s Maria Riesch produced an immaculate first run to give herself a comfortable lead. Maintaining her advantage on the second run, Riesch held off the surging Marlies Schild of Austria to win her second gold medal of the Vancouver Games by 0.43 seconds. The bronze went to Sarka Sahrobska of Czech Republic. Now Hofl-Reisch following her marriage, the defending champion, who has already won the super combined gold in Sochi, will be among the favourites, as will Tina Maze (SLO), Anna Fenninger (AUT) and Mikaela Shiffrin (USA).
Short track speed skating, men’s 500m, women’s 1,000m and men’s 5,000m relay: Canada’s Charles Hamelin won a brace of golds in double-quick time at the Pacific Coliseum, prevailing first of all in the men’s 500m from Si-Back Sung of Republic of Korea and his fellow Canadian François-Louis Tremblay, and then joining forces with Tremblay, his brother François Hamelin and Olivier Jean to lead the host nation to victory in the 5,000m relay ahead of the Koreans and USA.
In the women’s 1,000m Chinese skater Wang Meng collected her third gold medal of the Vancouver Games, with USA’s Katherine Reutter and Republic of Korea’s Seung-Hi Park joining her on the podium. Wang is absent from Sochi, but the Korean skaters will ensure an intense battle for the medals, as will Arianna Fontana (ITA), Valerie Maltais (CAN), and Elise Christie (GBR).