Sochi 2014: Day 11 – Kramer v ? Dominant Dutch seek more glory
Sochi 2014: Two events postponed from Monday have made day 11 one of the Games' busiest. Sven Kramer heads an all-star bill.
Sochi gold medallist Sven Kramer and his teammates are looking to seal their stamp on the long-track circuit on day 11 as Ole Einar Bjoerndalen gets another go at becoming the most-decorated Winter Olympian in the men’s 15km biathlon after Monday’s fog delay.
Having dominated the long-track so far, the Dutch will fancy of their chances of adding three further medals from the 10,000m final to the mammoth 17 they have already claimed.
Kramer last week conceded the opportunity to chase four gold medals, when he withdrew from the 1,500m event to concentrate on his favoured 10,000m.
I have not slept well in Russia and I have found it hard to adjust to the climate
10,000m defending champion Lee Seung-hoon
He is red-hot favourite, but his team-mates in reigning world-champion Jorrit Bergsma and veteran Bob de Jong will be hot on his tail.
Defending champion Lee Seung-hoon is the main competition to the Netherlands’ trio, who cited fatigue and nerves for his disappointing 12th place finish in last week’s 5,000m competition.
“I have not slept well in Russia and I have found it hard to adjust to the climate, but I should have overcome those things,” he said.
World champion Alex Pullin from Austria starts as favourite in the cross snowboard which was delayed from Monday, but after the frenzy of the ladies’ final it is hard to predict the frontrunners in an event where anything can happen.
Elise Christie is back on the rink again for the ladies’ 1,000m short track heats, following her heart-breaking double disqualification from the 500 and 1500m events.
The European champion has made no attempt to hide the fact that the 1,000 is her strongest event, adding even more pressure for her to perform in her last chance for medal glory.
The women’s 3000m short track final will likely be between Asian favourites China and South Korea, with Canada and Italy also in the hunt for medals.
North America look like controlling the inaugural men’s halfpipe event, as Canadian duo Mike Riddle and Justin Dorey face up to American skiers David Wise and Aaron Blunck.
Slovenian downhill champion Tina Maze and super-G gold medallist Anna Fenninger of Austria will count among the ones to watch in the ladies giant slalom, with world famous violinist Vanessa Mae competing for Thailand.
Non-medal events include the men’s curling qualifier between Great Britain and Norway for a semi-final place, in a repeat of the tense round robin tie.
Men’s ice hockey also takes centre stage with three qualification ties to decide the quarter-final pairings of the competition.
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