Sochi 2014: Day 15 – Russia come to the party to set up medal table showdown
Sochi 2014: Norwegian and Russian joy on day 15 as the fight for top spot in the medal table effectively became a two-way battle
The penultimate day of Sochi 2014 showcased youth and experience winning medals in alpine skiing, while Norwegian cross-country skier Marit Bjoergen become the most successful female Winter Olympian of all time as Russia moved above their rivals to top spot in the medal table.
Bjoergen’s victory in the 30km mass start was her sixth Olympic gold and 10th medal overall.
Therese Johaug’s silver and Kristin Stoermer Steira’s bronze helped Norway claim the first Olympic cross-country skiing clean sweep since their men managed the feat in the 30km classic in 1992.
“It’s incredible. I thought it would be hard but I’ve felt good,” Bjorgen said.
“I knew that I am stronger in the sprints, so I was waiting for them to attack on the last climb.”
When I came to the Olympics and showed up I had already won. To win the other day was the greatest feeling of my life. I can’t believe it
Russian snowboarder Vic Wild
Mario Matt became the oldest alpine skiing champion in Winter Olympic history at 34 years and 319 days by winning the men’s slalom.
Leading after the first run, Matt glided through the slushy course in a combined time of 1 minute, 41.84 seconds.
Austrian teammate Marcel Hirscher skied a swift second run to take silver, 0.28 behind, and teenager Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway captured bronze to become the youngest medal winner in an Olympic alpine skiing event.
Vic Wild became the first snowboarder to win two titles at a single Olympics as he topped the podium once more for his adopted Russian nation.
The American-born slalom specialist added gold in the new Olympic event of parallel slalom to the gold he claimed last week in the regular slalom.
“It’s beyond believable,” said the 27-year-old Wild.
“When I came to the Olympics and showed up I had already won. To win the other day was the greatest feeling of my life. I can’t believe it.”
The ladies final in the same event was one of the most dramatic and closely contested finishes of all the alpine events.
Austria’s Julia Dujmovits trailed Germany’s Anke Karstens by 0.72 seconds at the start of their final run and fell further behind after making a mistake but came storming back to claim the win by just 0.12 seconds.
Sadly it was not all good news at Sochi as news of a third failed doping test surfaced, Ukrainian cross-country skier Marina Lisogor the athlete in question.
Russian biathlete Ekaterina Glazyrina was expelled from the Games and also excluded from the final three World Cup races of the season for her criticism of the team on social media.
Once again the Netherlands dominated the speed skating, with both the men and ladies teams setting Olympic records as they demolished their opponents in the team pursuit finals.
The nation has now taken 23 of the 36 medals available which has caused the future of the sport to be called into question.
In the men’s 4×7.5km biathlon relay, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen missed out on a third gold as Norway finished fourth behind Russia, Germany and Austria.
Finland thumped the USA 5-0 to win the men’s ice hockey bronze medal ahead of tomorrow’s eagerly anticipated final between Sweden and Canada.
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