Sochi 2014: Day 9 preview – Don’t fall Lindsey, Jamaicans make Games bow
Sochi 2014: American Lindsey Jacobellis goes for gold in the women's snowboard cross as Jamaica start their Games
Lindsey Jacobellis will be hoping to make it third time lucky in the snowboard cross tomorrow morning while Jamaica’s two-man bobsleigh will be set to face the world’s media as they make their Games debut on the sliding track.
The American had to settle for silver in 2006 after falling over on the finishing straight when well ahead after showboating and grabbing her board.
She was overtaken by Swiss boarder Tanja Frieden but managed to scramble to her feet to rescue second place.
Anything can happen in boarder cross. Now there are six racers out there, so there are five other elements you can’t control
Four years later in Vancouver she was knocked out in the semi-finals but this time round the three-time world champion is clear favourite after winning the World Cup in Canada last December.
“It’s a new day, it’s a new race,” Jacobellis said after the second day of training in Sochi.
“I haven’t given up. I’ve had two major knee surgeries – I want to prove to myself I can still be in this sport after 16 years of racing.
“Anything can happen in boarder cross. You can really only do what you can control. Now there are six racers out there, so there are five other elements you can’t control.”
Elsewhere, Jamaica will make their first Games appearance since 2002 in the two-man bobsleigh.
Veteran driver Winston Watts, 46, who competed at the 1994, 1998 and 2002 Games then came out of retirement two years ago to qualify for Russia and brakeman Marvin Dixon, 28, have the task of the showing the world what the Caribbean island can do in colder conditions although the Sochi beach reached into the mid 20s on Saturday as the sun shone down again.
Another huge highlight of day nine will see the men take to the slopes again for the final of the super-G.
The event has been brought forward an hour due to the warm weather and a number of competitors have raised concerns about the possible deterioration of the course as the event unfolds.
As for the contenders, Matthias Mayer competes in his strongest event and looks a good bet to add to the gold he won last Sunday when the Austrian caused a major upset to win the downhill.
Defending champion Aksel Lund Svindal has had a disappointing games so far, finishing fourth in the downhill and eighth in the super combined but the super-G is also his best race so he should challenge the young Austrian for gold.
Other possible winners include 36-year-old American Bode Miller, who is running out chances to become the oldest skiing medalist in the history of the Games.
Elsewhere, Christof Innerhofer cannot be overlooked for another medal after taking a silver and a bronze in Sochi already.
The 29-year-old Italian managed a backflip on the podium before receiving his super-combined bronze so it will be worth seeing what he has in store if he caps it with a gold tomorrow.
Other medal hopefuls tomorrow include Ireen Wust, who is favourite to add to her 3000m speed skating gold in the 1500m event.
The Dutchwoman made headlines on Sunday when she became the first openly gay athlete to win a gold in Sochi but she faces a challenge from two of her compatriots.
Lotte van Beek and Jorien ter Mors will have a good chance of making it a Dutch clean sweep and adding to the country’s formidable long track medal haul.
Another Sochi winner, Martin Fourcade, will be looking for his third gold medal of the Games when he competes in the Biathlon 15km mass start.
The Frenchman claimed victory in the 20km individual biathlon on Thursday to add to his earlier triumph in the 12.5km pursuit.
One of primary rivals will be Norwegian Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, still seeking to become the most decorated Winter Olympian with a 13th medal.
Other medal highlights include the men’s cross country skiing 4 x 10km where Sweden look odds-on to retain their title.
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