Sochi 2014, Day 9: What’s on this Sunday?
Spectators will be spoilt for choice at Rosa Khutor in the morning, with both the men’s super-G and the women’s snowboard cross competition on the early part of the schedule. Later in the morning the focus switches to the Laura Cross-Country Ski & Biathlon Centre as it plays host to the men’s 15km mass start and the men’s 4x10km cross-country relay. In the evening Sochi’s Adler Arena will take centre stage for the latest speed skating final, the women’s 1,500m, while the Sanki Sliding Centre provides the setting for day one of the men’s two-man bob competition.
Alpine skiing, men’s super-G: Fastest at every split on a tricky 44-gate course at Whistler Creekside, Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal came in 0.28 seconds ahead of Bode Miller to win his second medal in Vancouver, following his downhill silver. It Miller’s third, the American having won bronze in the downhill and gold in the super combined. Third place went to the USA’s Andrew Weibrecht, who will be lining up with Svindal and Miller at the start gate in Sochi.
Cross-country skiing, men’s 4x10km relay: Moving into the lead on the second leg, the Sweden team formed by Daniel Richardsson, Johan Olsson, Anders Södergren and 30km pursuit champion Marcus Hellner stayed there to win by 16 seconds from Norway. The Norwegians owed their silver medal to Petter Northug’s storming anchor leg, which began with his team lying in sixth. Czech Republic beat France to the bronze. The Swedish quartet will be confident of defending their title in Sochi, with the biggest challenge this time likely to come from the home team, Russia.
Biathlon, men’s 15km mass start: Having shot clean, Russia’s Yevgeny Ustyogov pulled clear of the field after the second and final standing shoot to win the gold medal in a time of 35:36.7. France’s Martin Fourcade emerged from the pack after the final bout of shooting to land silver by ten seconds from Pavol Hurajt of Slovakia. Now 25, Fourcade has since become the world’s number one biathlete, and will be looking for his third gold at Sochi 2014, having already won the individual pursuit and the 20km.
Speed skating, women’s 1,500m: A winner in the 3,000m at Turin 2006, Dutch speed skater Ireen Wüst was in a class of her own at half that distance in Vancouver, clocking a time of 1:56.89 to beat Canada’s Kristina Groves by 0.25 seconds. The bronze went to Martina Sablikova of Czech Republic, who had earlier relieved Wüst of her 3,000m title. The two will once again be among the favourites in the longer distance events in Sochi.
Women’s snowboard cross: A faller in the final in Turin four years earlier, Canada’s Maelle Ricker suffered no such fate at Cypress Mountain, quickly surging into the lead in the medal race and staying there all the way to the finish line. Deborah Anthonioz of France kept out of trouble to claim the silver, while Swiss boarder Olivia Nobs recovered from a tumble to take bronze. Ricker will defend her title at Sochi, where Anthonioz will once again be hoping to outboard her.