Sochi 2014, Day 4 – What’s on this Tuesday?
The Rosa Khutor Extreme Park provides the setting as the women’s slopestyle competition makes its eagerly awaited Olympic debut, while the excitement levels are also sure to be high at the nearby Laura Cross-Country Ski & Biathlon Centre, where the world’s top male and female cross-country skiers will be going flat out for victory in their respective 1.5km sprint events.
Next up is speed skating and the women’s 500m at Sochi’s Adler Arena, the prelude to the evening programme, which starts with biathlon and the women’s 10km pursuit, an event in which the winner of last Sunday’s 7.5km sprint will have the honour of getting away first.
The women’s luge then reaches its conclusion at the Sanki Sliding Centre, while back at Rosa Khutor reigning two-time half-pipe champion Shaun White will defend his crown at about the same time as the RusSki Gorki Jumping Centre hosts the inaugural Olympic women’s ski jumping competition on the HS106 hill.
Flashback to Vancouver 2010:
Shaun White throws his tomahawk
Cross-country skiing, men’s and women’s 1.5km sprint: At Vancouver 2010 the individual sprint events were skied in the classic style. The women’s race came down to a duel between Norway’s Marit Björgen and Poland’s Jutina Kowalczyk, with Björgen stealing away to win by a second. Taking the bronze behind Kowalczyk was Slovenia’s Petra Majdic. In the men’s event, meanwhile, victory went to Russia’s Nikita Kriukov, who took the finish line ahead of his fellow countryman Alexander Panzhinskiy. Norwegian skier Petter Northug came in third, more than nine seconds adrift.
Speed skating, women’s 500m: Korea Republic’s Sang-Hwa Lee won her first major title at the age of 20, beating Germany’s Jenny Wolf to the line by 0.05 seconds. China’s Wang Beixing took third place on the podium. Dominant in the four years since Vancouver, Lee is a very firm favourite to win once more at the Adler Arena.
Biathlon, women’s 10km pursuit: Setting off just two seconds behind sprint winner Slovakia’s Anastasia Kuzmina, Germany’s Magdalena Neuner wiped out the deficit to finish well clear. Sixth after the sprint, France’s Marie-Laure Brunet shot clear to climb up to third. The victorious Neuner called time on her competitive career two years later.
Luge, women’s singles: A bronze medallist at Turin 2006, Tajana Hüfner of Germany dominated proceedings at the Whistler Sliding Centre, posting the fastest times in runs two, three and four to claim the gold. For the first time since Nagano 1998 the Germans were denied a clean sweep. Austria’s Nina Reithmayer was the party pooper, finishing between Hüfner and her compatriot Natalie Geisenberger.
Snowboard, men’s half-pipe: Soaring high into the air at Cypress Mountain, the USA’s Shaun White broke out his deadly “Tomahawk”, an awe-inspiring Double McTwist 1260, to score maximum points, retain the title he won at Turin 2006 and send the packed gallery wild. White, who was joined on the podium at Vancouver by Finland’s Peetu Piiroinen and fellow American Scotty Lago, is now eyeing a third straight Olympic title in his favourite event.
Ski jumping, women’s individual NH/Freestyle skiing, women’s slopestyle: These two events are both making their Olympic debuts at Sochi 2014.