Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics - Day 9 review
Simon Ammann yesterday became the most successful ski jumper in Olympic history, picking up his fourth gold medal in the Men’s Large Hill competition.
In an exact repeat of the podium from the Normal Hill event on day two, Ã¢â‚¬ËœThe Polish Eagle’ Adam Malysz took silver, and Austria’s Gregor Schlierenzauer finished with the bronze. Once again, neither could get near Ammann, his margin of victory even larger.
Ammann made an enormous leap of 144m with his first attempt, the only man in the competition to reach over 140m. His second jump was 6m shorter, but with excellent style points, handing him the victory by a huge margin of 14.2 points.
In a testament to Ammann’s dominance in both events, Malysz could not praise the Swiss man enough, and said his two silver medals almost felt like gold. He was also quick to defend Ammann against a complaint made by the Austrian team about the bindings on his skis, describing it as Ã¢â‚¬Ëœjealousy’.
Saturday also saw Apolo Anton Ohno become America’s most successful Winter Olympian of all-time, as he picked up bronze in the 1000m Short Track final. South Korea picked up gold and silver, through Lee Jung-Su and Lee Ho-Suk.
Entering the final stages of the race, the victory was clearly out of the question for Ohno, but a burst of speed allowed him to pass Canada’s Hamelin brothers, Charles and Francois, to take the bronze.
It has so far been a very disappointing Olympics for Charles. He has failed to win a medal of any colour in either the 1500m or the 1000m, despite being the favourite for gold in both events. He will now be pinning his hopes on the 500m event.
South Korea also picked up two medals in the Women’s 1500m event. However this time they had to settle for silver and bronze, as China’s Zhou Yang stormed to victory by almost a second.
In the Men’s 1500m event on the longer track in Richmond, America’s Shani Davis was expected to have little trouble in picking up his second gold of the Games. Mark Tuitert threw a spanner into those plans. The Dutchman surprised almost everyone, claiming the gold by more than half a second from Davis. Perhaps even more surprising was Davis’ team-mate Chad Hedrick, who could finish no better than sixth. Norwegian Havard Bokko won bronze.
At Whistler, in a tight race, Sweden’s Marcus Hellner won gold in the Men’s 30k Cross-Country Pursuit. Team-mate Johan Olsson won bronze, with Germany’s Tobias Angerer winning silver.
Downhill champion Lindsey Vonn had to settle for a bronze medal in the Ladies’ Super-G at Whistler Creekside. The American held the lead for a while during the race, but her time was subsequently bettered by Slovenia’s Tina Maze and Austria’s Andrea Fischbacher.
The victory will go some way to improving what has been a pretty miserable Vancouver experience so far for the Austrian team. Fischbacher’s gold is just their second so far, following the Linger brothers’ victory in the Luge Doubles.
There were trans-Atlantic battles for Britain’s men and women in Curling yesterday, both resulting in narrow defeats. The women lost out 6-5 to the United States, whilst the men came out on the losing side of a 7-6 score line in the evening session, against hosts Canada.
At the Sliding Centre, the Two-Man Bobsleigh got underway. The Germans, as they have been all week in the sliding events, are in complete control overnight. Germany 1, piloted by three-time Olympic champion Andre Lange, sit in first place, closely followed by Germany 2 in the silver medal position.
There were a few scary crashes throughout the first two runs, most notably medal-contenders Canada 1, who tipped their sled in heat two on corner 13 – the infamously named Ã¢â‚¬Ëœ50/50′.
Brakeman Lascelles Brown, talking to the official Vancouver 2010 website, described the experience as being like “someone punching you all the way until the sled stops”.
Britain 1 was disqualified, after crashing and failing to complete the course, along with Austria, Liechtenstein and Australia. The Whistler track continues to generate discussion, and mixed reviews.
Two Swiss sledders have now pulled out of the Bobsleigh events, amidst discussion that the track is just too fast and unsafe. However a number of other athletes have relished the experience, with Romanian pilot Carmen Radenovic describing Whistler as her “favourite track in the world”.
The event will conclude on Sunday, with heats three and four. Heat three was initially scheduled to start at 1.30pm, but has been pushed back to 4pm (midnight UK) to allow the temperature to drop, and preserve the ice conditions, due to warm weather expected earlier in the day.
There is more skiing from Whistler, both Alpine and Cross Country, with the Men’s Super Combined the highlight.
Undoubtedly, the big event of the day will take place at Canada Hockey Place, as the intense grudge match between Canada and the United States takes place, in the biggest match of the Ice hockey competition so far. Face-off is at 4.40pm (12.40am UK) with coverage on the BBC via the red button.