Sochi 2014, Day 5: What’s on this Wednesday?
All eyes will be on the queens of speed as the world’s best women go for downhill gold in Rosa Khutor. Meanwhile, the Nordic combined gets under way with the ski jumping leg, with points scored determining the starting order for the 10km cross-country race.
In the evening the USA’s Shani Davis will go for an unprecedented Olympic hat-trick in the men’s 1,000m at the Adler Arena, and the competitors in the luge doubles event will take to the ice at the Sanki Sliding Centre.
Alpine skiing, women’s downhill: A double world champion in 2009 and the holder of the FIS crystal globe, Lindsey Vonn went into the downhill at Whistler Creekside as the world’s leading female skier. Wearing the No16 bib, she was fastest at all the splits and stopped the clock at 1:44.15, taming a challenging course to become the USA’s first ever Olympic women’s downhill champion and win the one major title to have eluded her grasp to that point. Fellow American and Turin 2006 giant slalom gold medallist Julia Mancuso took the silver behind her, with Austria’s Elisabeth Görgl winning the bronze. Injury has denied Vonn the chance to defend her title in Sochi.
Nordic combined, individual NH/10km CC: Fifth after the ski jumping, France’s Jason Lamy-Chappuis had battled his way into the four-strong group of leaders by the time the finish line approached in the cross-country race. Finding an extra gear in the sprint, he beat the USA’s Johnny Spillane to the line, with Italy’s Alessandro Pittin finishing just behind them in third. France’s flagbearer in Sochi, Lamy-Chappuis will be going all out to defend his combined crown.
Speed skating, men’s 1,000m: In getting the better of Korea Republic’s Tae-Bum Mo (the winner of the 1,500m 48 hours earlier), the United States’ Shani Davis became the first speed skater to retain the Olympic title at the distance. He was joined on the podium at the Richmond Olympic Oval by fellow countryman Chad Hedrick, the winner of the bronze medal. Back in action at Sochi 2014, Davis will attempt to become the first man to win the event three times in a row.
Figure skating, pairs (free programme): First after the short programme at Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum, China’s Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo held off a determined challenge from their compatriots Pang Qing and Tong Jian, the winners of the free programme, to clinch their country’s first figure-skating gold medal. Taking third behind China’s unprecedented one-two were the German pair of Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, leaving Russia without a place on the podium for the first time since 1964.
Snowboard, women’s halfpipe: Australia’s flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony and first in qualifying at Cypress Mountain, Torah Bright fell on her first run in the final but recovered to turn in a flawless flying second run and beat the two previous Olympic champions, Kelly Clark and Hannah Tetter of the USA, to the gold medal. Bright is competing in all three freestyle snowboard events in Sochi: halfpipe, slopestyle and snowboard cross.