Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics — Day 12 review

By Paul Hurst

ski cross

Aksel Lund Svindal followed Bode Miller in collecting a medal of each colour at the 2010 Games. His bronze was one of two Norwegian medals in the Men’s Giant Slalom.

Kjetil Jansrud, in 11th after the first run, sat in first place with just one skier to come after a very quick second run. However that last man was Carlo Janka, and he was in no mood to give up his lead from the first run. The Swiss wasn’t as quick as Jansrud, but was plenty quick enough to win the gold, by 0.39 seconds.

Bode Miller was unable to add to his medal haul as he failed to finish the first run after skiing out.

There was drama at the Richmond Olympic Oval as Sven Kramer was disqualified in the final of the Men’s 10,000m Speed Skating. The Dutchman had already won gold in the Men’s 5000m, and crossed the line well ahead of South Korea’s Lee Seung-Hoon.

However there was shock amongst the sizeable Dutch contingent in the arena, and disgust from Kramer, as they learned of his disqualification. Eight laps from the end, Kramer took the wrong lane during a transition. The mistake appeared to be down to his coach Gerard Kemkers, and Kramer did not waste in any time in apportioning the blame.

He was heading for the correct outer lane on the approach, until Kemkers called him into the inner lane. Kramer hesistated initially, but followed the instruction from his coach.

In a post-race interview with the Vancouver 2010 website, he said: “Usually, I don’t want to blame anyone else, but this time I can’t do anything else [but blame Kemkers].” Kemkers looked inconsolable following the race, in contrast to the obvious frustration of Kramer. As his coach looked to be trying to apologise to him, Kramer brushed him off, and threw his goggles across the ice.

Following the disqualification, Lee was awarded the gold, Ivan Skobrev of Russia won the silver with Kramer’s team-mate Bob de Jong finishing in the bronze medal position.

Canada won gold in the Ladies’ Ski Cross on Cypress Mountain, through Vancouver-native Ashleigh McIvor. McIvor got off to a fast start in the final and won the race at a canter. She finished ahead of Norway’s Hedda Berntsen in second, and France’s Marion Josserand in the bronze medal position.

Russia’s women won the gold in the 4 x 6km Relay Biathlon, finishing comfortably ahead of France who won the silver, and Germany in third position. In the Team 4 x 5km Nordic Combined, Austria’s men were victorious. After the jump, Finland led the field, but completely fell apart during the ski and finished a poor seventh.

The United States led until well into the race, but silver medallist in the individual event Johnny Spillane couldn’t hold off Felix Gottwald, and the Austrians never looked back. Germany moved up from sixth after the jump to claim bronze. The gold marks Gottwald’s seventh Olympic medal, making him Austria’s most decorated Olympian.

Britain’s women were defeated 6-5 by Canada, but it was of little consequence, as results elsewhere meant that even a victory would not have saved them from elimination from the Curling competition.

The British men were disappointed to blow a good chance of victory through silly mistakes as they were defeated 9-5 by Norway.

A victory would have seen them qualify automatically for the semi-finals, but they now face an elimination match against Sweden at 2pm (10pm UK) on Wednesday.

The line-up for Wednesday’s quarter-finals in the Men’s Ice Hockey tournament is now complete. Hosts Canada eased past Germany in their playoff match last night, winning 8-2. They now face a tough tie against Russia. The top-seed United States face Switzerland in the first game of the day. The other ties pit Finland against the Czech Republic, and Sweden against Slovakia.

Also on Wednesday, we will see the conclusion of the Women’s Bobsleigh at the Sliding Centre. The second heat yesterday saw some very quick runs, with track records being repeatedly set and then broken. Kaillie Humphries, piloting Canada 1, set the new mark of 53.01 with the final run of the evening, to give them the overnight lead. They hold a slight 0.13 second advantage over neighbours USA 2.

There will also be medal events in speed skating, and cross-country throughout the day. The Ladies’ Alpine Skiing will recommence at Whistler Creekside, with the Giant Slalom starting at 10am (6pm UK). There should be plenty of excitement on Cypress Mountain, as the Ladies’ Aerials Final takes place at 7.30pm (3.30am UK).

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