Today at PyeongChang 2018: Monday 19 February
There are just three medal events as PyeongChang 2018 moves into its second week, with medals being awarded in the two-man bobsleigh, the men’s team ski jumping, and the men’s 500m speed skating. There is plenty of action elsewhere, however, as the men’s and women’s curling competitions continue and the figure skating ice dance gets under way, while it’s qualifying time in the women’s ski halfpipe and the women’s snowboard big air, and semi-finals day in the women’s ice hockey.
Speed skating, men’s 500m: 20:00 local time
The Dutch swept the board in the Sochi 2014 final, with Michel Mulder taking the title ahead of Jan Smeekens and his brother Ronald Mulder. The Oranje skaters cannot be sure of the same levels of dominance at the Gangneung Oval, however. This season’s standout performers over one-and-a-quarter laps have been Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen (NOR) and Alex Boisvert-Lacroix (CAN), who between them have won every World Cup event. That said, Smeekens did take gold at the World Single Distance Speed Skating Championships in Gangneung in February 2017.
Ski jumping, men’s team event: 21:30 local time
The stage is set for a spectacular evening under the lights at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre, where Norway, Germany, Slovenia, Poland, Austria and Japan are all expected to vie for gold. Between them the six nations have won every World Cup and World Championship medal since Sochi 2014, where Germany took gold. The Norwegians – who are expected to field the quartet of Daniel-André Tande, Anders Fannemel, Johann André Forfang and Robert Johansson – have dominated this season’s World Cup, with three victories in the three events leading up to PyeongChang 2018. Kamil Stoch’s Poland will also feel confident of their chances, having won the men's large hill two days ago.
Bobsleigh, two-man, heats 3 and 4: 20:15 local time
German duo Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis have won every world title since Sochi 2014, not to mention two European titles and the 2017 World Cup, all of which makes them firm favourites to claim gold at the Olympic Sliding Centre in Alpensia. Nevertheless, this winter’s two most consistent drivers have been Canada’s Justin Kripps and Chris Spring, who lie first and second respectively in the World Cup rankings. Meanwhile the up-and-coming Codie Bascue (USA) has also been making headlines on the international circuit. So, despite their seven world titles, Friedrich and Margis can take nothing for granted.
Elsewhere at the Games…
The Gangneung Hockey Centre will host both women’s ice hockey semi-finals (USA-FIN at 13:10 and OAR-CAN at 21:10 local time), while down the road the figure skating ice dance competition kicks off with the short programme at the Gangneung Ice Arena (10:00); and the preliminary round of the curling continues with the eighth and ninth sessions of the women’s event and the ninth session of the men’s event. In freestyle skiing, the women’s ski halfpipe qualification round takes place at the Phoenix Snow Park in Bokwang (10:00), while the women’s freestyle snowboarders compete in the qualification round of the inaugural Olympic big air event, which takes place at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre.