Sochi 2014, Day 2- What's on this Sunday?
The day begins with Alpine skiing’s blue riband event, the men’s downhill, which takes place on the challenging Rosa Khutor course. Meanwhile, the nearby Extreme Park will play host to the women’s snowboard slopestyle competition, an exciting new addition to the Olympic programme. Cross-country skiing and the men’s 30km pursuit also feature on the schedule for Day 2, while in biathlon the women’s 7.5km sprint will determine the starting order for the pursuit.
On the ice, speed skating takes centre stage with the women’s 3,000m. And when night falls the spotlight will be on legs three and four of the men’s luge and the figure skating team event, which comes to a conclusion with the free programme. Last but by no means not least, the ski jumpers will fly into action in the men’s individual normal hill event, which takes place at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center.
Flashback to Vancouver 2010:
Simon Ammann (SUI) soars to glory
Alpine skiing, men’s downhill: On the Dave Murray Downhill at Whistler Creekside Didier Defago became Switzerland’s third Olympic downhill champion, following Bernhard Russi in 1972 and Pirmin Zurbriggen in 1988. Defago clinched gold on the bottom part of the course, clocking in 0.07 seconds ahead of Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal. Despite leading at every split, the USA’s Bode Miller eventually finished third, 0.9 seconds adrift of the winner. All three skiers will be at the start gate at Rosa Khutor on 9 February.
Ski jumping, men’s individual normal hill: A double gold medallist at Salt Lake City 2002, Switzerland’s Simon Ammann was back on top of the podium at Whistler eight years later. Having outjumped the field with a first-round leap of 105m, Ammann then flew out to a record 108m in the second, raising his arms in triumph as soon as he landed, secure in the knowledge that the gold was his. Completing the podium were Poland’s Adam Malysz and Austria’s Gregor Schlierenzauer. Ammann will be back to defend his title in Sochi, while Schlierenzauer, the current world number one, will also be eyeing gold.
Cross-country skiing, men’s 30km pursuit: There were four skiers still in with a chance of gold heading into the closing stages of the men’s combined 15 + 15km mass start, which took place in glorious sunshine at Whistler Olympic Park. Stealing a march on his rivals on the short descent into the final straight, Sweden’s Marcus Hellner opened up a lead that he would hold all the way to the finish line, eventually coming home two seconds clear of Germany’s Tobias Angerer and his compatriot Johan Olsson.
Biathlon, women’s 7.5km sprint: Anastasia Kuzmina won Slovakia’s first ever Olympic Winter Games gold medal courtesy of some faultless shooting and a time of 19.55:6, nearly two seconds quicker than Germany’s Magdalena Neuner. France’s Marie Dorin also shot clear to take third place, 11 seconds behind Kuzmina.
Luge, men’s singles: Nobody could match the searing pace of Germany’s Felix Loch in any of the two-day competition’s four legs. Aged only 20, he became the youngest ever Olympic gold medalist in the event, and was joined on the podium by fellow countryman David Möller, who took silver. Two-time Olympic champion Armin Zoggeler completed the one-two-three to collect his fifth medal in as many Games. Loch is a very firm favourite to retain his title in Sochi, while the legendary Zöggeler will be making his sixth Olympic Winter Games appearance at the tender age of 40.
Speed skating, women’s 3,000m: Reigning world champion Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic, was in truly sparkling form at the Richmond Olympic Oval, breaking the track record to beat the field by more than two seconds and claim the Olympic title from Germany’s Stephanie Beckert and Kristina Groves of Canada. Sablikova will once again figure among the favourites in the longer events at Sochi 2014.
Figure skating team event and snowboard slopestyle: These two events did not feature at Vancouver 2010, since both are making their Olympic debuts at Sochi 2014.