Ukraine takes gold in biathlon
Four Ukrainian women gave their politically torn country some good news at the Sochi Games yesterday.
As government and opposition leaders worked to end the months-long Ukrainian crisis that erupted in deadly violence this week, the Ukraine women’s 4x6-kilometer biathlon relay team won the nation’s first gold medal in two decades.
Ukraine’s team of twins Vita and Valj Semerenko, Juliya Dzhyma and Olena Pidhrushna missed five targets but avoided penalty loops to finish in 1 hour, 10 minutes, 2.5 seconds. Russia was 26.4 seconds behind to take silver, and Norway trailed by 37.6 to win bronze.
Sweden beat Finland, 2-1, to set up a gold medal matchup against Canada. Finland went up early in the second period when Olli Jokinen scored, but Sweden’s Loui Eriksson tied it up and Erik Karlsson made it 2-1 with a slap shot from the middle of the ice.
Marielle Thompson of Canada edged teammate Kelsey Serwa for the gold in women’s skicross, giving Canada its third 1-2 finish in freestyle skiing events. Ophelie David of France wiped out about two-thirds down the course, giving the bronze to Sweden’s Anna Holmlund.
Canada routed Britain, 9-3, to win its third straight gold medal in men’s curling. Sweden won the bronze, taking an extra end to defeat China, 6-4.
Short track gold medals went to Viktor Ahn of Russia in the men’s 500, to Park Seung-hi of South Korea in the women’s 1,000, and to Russia in the men’s 5,000-meter relay. In addition to winning the 500, Ahn anchored the Russian 5,000 relay team. The U.S. team won silver in the relay, ending a medal drought for the American speedskaters.
The long track team failed to get on the podium in 12 events, and the U.S. had been shut out in the first seven events at short track.