Sochi Winter Olympics 2014: Day 2 Medal Predictions and Results

Brendan O'Meara@@BrendanOMearaFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2014

Sochi Winter Olympics 2014: Day 2 Medal Predictions and Results

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Sunday was another good day for Team USA at the Winter Olympics.

    Jamie Anderson matched her male teammate Sage Kotsenburg by capturing the second U.S. gold of the Games, in ladies' slopestyle snowboard competition. Meanwhile, Gracie Gold and the rest of the U.S. figure skating squad laid down solid performances to capture bronze in the first-ever team event.

    Luck was not on the side of Bode Miller in the men's downhill. He finished in eighth place while Austria's Matthias Mayer captured the gold.

    At the end of Day 2, the U.S. sits third in the overall medal standings with two gold medals and two bronzes.

    After another strong day in the nordic events, Norway leads the pack with seven medals in total. The Netherlands sits in second place with two golds, one silver and one bronze.

    Click through for details on all eight medal events decided in Sochi on Sunday.

Men's Luge: Singles

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    Felix Loch is the best.
    Felix Loch is the best.Dita Alangkara/Associated Press

    The master made no mistake. 2013 World Champion and defending Olympic gold medalist Felix Loch repeated as champion on Sunday in men's luge at the Sanki Sliding Center.

    Silver medalist and seven-time Olympian Albert Demchenko of Russia held the lead after Saturday's first run, but Loch bested him on all three subsequent trips down the track, ultimately winning with a time of three minutes and 27.526 seconds.

    Demchenko finished about half a second behind, picking up his second Olympic silver with 3:28.002, while two-time Olympic gold medalist Armin Zoeggeler of Italy won bronze at 40 years of age in a time of 3.28.797.

    The top American in the singles event was Christopher Mazdzer, who finished in 13th place with a time of 3:29.954.

    The next event on the luge schedule is women's singles, which starts Monday.

    Gold: Felix Loch, Germany, 3:27.526

    Silver: Albert Demchenko, Russia, 3:28.002

    Bronze: Armin Zoeggeler, Italy, 3:28.797


    Pre-Event Predictions

    Germany's Felix Loch sits at the top of the world of men's luge. He's the defending world champion and through two runs on Saturday, he sits nearly three-tenths of a second ahead of Russia's Albert Demchenko atop the leaderboard. 

    Armin Zoeggeler, even at age 40, can't be ignored. He won gold in the Torino Games in 2006 and the Salt Lake City Games in 2002. He sits in third after his first two runs. 

    On the American side, Chris Mazdzer is in 13th place after two runs and has a distant chance at a top-10 finish, which would be a boon for him and USA luge since he's just 25 years old. 

    The Germans swept all the medals in singles luge at the World Championships in Vancouver a year ago, and they look nearly impossible to top in Sochi. 

    Gold: Felix Loch, Germany

    Silver: Andi Langenhan, Germany

    Bronze: Albert Demchenko, Russia

Women's Snowboarding: Slopestyle

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    American Jamie Anderson claims gold in the women's slopestyle.
    American Jamie Anderson claims gold in the women's slopestyle.Associated Press

    Jamie Anderson made it a clean sweep for the United States in the inaugural Olympic slopestyle events, as the 23-year-old claimed gold in the women's final Sunday at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park

    Anderson crushed the course on her second run, pulling down a score of 95.25 to finish 2.75 points ahead of silver medalist Enni Rukajarvi of Finland, while Great Britain's Jenny Jones (87.25) earned the bronze.

    American Sage Kotsenburg won the men's slopestyle on Saturday, giving Team USA gold in both events.

    Gold: Jamie Anderson, United States, 95.25

    Silver: Enni Rukajarvi, Finland, 92.50

    Bronze: Jenny Jones, Great Britain, 87.25


    Pre-Event Predictions

    The Unites States is a snowboarding powerhouse. Jamie Anderson and Karly Shorr perfectly exemplified Team USA's strength when they scored among the eight best in qualifying to vault straight into Sunday's final. 

    Fifteen riders compete Sunday at 1:30 a.m. ET in the semifinal, with four advancing to take on the well-rested slate of eight. The final take place at 4:15 a.m. ET.

    Anna Gasser of Austria posted the highest score in qualifying with a 95.50, putting pressure on Anderson, the gold-medal favorite. Among the eight who skipped the semis are Canada's Spencer O'Brien, Australia's Torah Bright and Switzerland's Elena Koenz. 

    New Zealand has a pair of riders in the semis who could advance in Rebecca Torr and Christy Prior. Jenny Jones, from Great Britain, is also an outside threat to advance and contend for a medal. 

    Gold: Jamie Anderson, United States

    Silver: Anna Gasser, Austria

    Bronze: Karly Shorr, United States

Women's Biathlon: 7.5-Kilometer Sprint

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    Tora Berger, of Norway, is ranked second in the sprint standings of the International Biathlon Union.
    Tora Berger, of Norway, is ranked second in the sprint standings of the International Biathlon Union.Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

    Defending Olympic champion Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia repeated as champion on Sunday in the women's 7.5-kilometer sprint biathlon.

    With perfect race conditions at the Laura Biathlon Center, Kuzmina covered the course in 21 minutes, 6.8 seconds and didn't miss a shot. She finished 19.9 seconds ahead of first-time Olympian Olga Vilukhina of Russia, who also shot flawlessly to claim silver. Vita Semerenko of Ukraine was third, 21.7 seconds behind the winner.

    The Olympic medal is Kuzmina's third in total; she also won silver in the 10k pursuit in Vancouver. She'll try to turn that into gold when the pursuit event runs on Tuesday in Sochi.

    The top American in Sunday's competition was Susan Dunklee, who finished 14th, while Rosanna Crawford was the highest-placing Canadian, in 25th.

    Gold: Anastasiya Kuzmina, Slovakia, 21:06.8

    Silver: Olga Vilukhina, Russia, 21.26.7

    Bronze: Vita Semerenko, Ukraine, 21:28.5


    Pre-Event Predictions

    It's crowded at the top of the women's 7.5-kilometer sprint. In the International Biathlon Union's sprint rankings, Finland's Kaisa Makarainen is No. 1, with Norway's Tora Berger just six points behind her in second. Switzerland's Selina Gasparin is one point behind Berger, so when they all strap on their skis and rifles, it'll be a mad scrum for gold.

    Berger will be tough as she has won a medal recently in the sprint. She took silver at the Nove Mesto World Cup in 2013. Makarainen will be in the thick of the sprint, having won gold at the World Cup in 2010, and she stands to hold form Sunday. 

    Keep an eye on Darya Domracheva of Belarus, too. 

    Gold: Kaisa Makarainen, Finland

    Silver: Darya Domracheva, Belarus

    Bronze: Tora Berger, Norway

Men's Cross-Country: Skiathlon 15-Kilometer Classic and 15-Kilometer Free

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    Switzerland's Dario Cologna claimed the gold.
    Switzerland's Dario Cologna claimed the gold.Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press

    Switzerland's Dario Cologna made a late charge during the final stretch of the men's skiathlon to earn gold, winning the 30-kilometer race by four-tenths of a second on Sunday. 

    Cologna, a gold medalist in Vancouver in the 15-kilometer freestyle who placed 13th in this event in 2010, was in 13th place after the classic half of the race. But the 27-year-old and reigning world skiathlon champ surged ahead over the final kilometer to take the title. 

    Finishing just behind Cologna was Sweden's Marcus Hellner, who adds silver to the gold he won in the 2010 skiathlon (known then as the pursuit) in Vancouver. The bronze went to Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway, who edged out Russia's Maxim Vylegzhanin by one-tenth of a second. 

    Gold: Dario Cologna, Switzerland, 1:08:15.4

    Silver: Marcus Hellner, Sweden, 1:08:15.8 

    Bronze: Martin Johnsrud Sundby, Norway, 1:08:16.8


    Pre-Event Predictions

    Switzerland's Dario Cologna is back after having ankle surgery in November. He's the leading contender for the gold medal in the skiathlon—a 15-kilometer race where athletes switch from classic-technique skis to skating skis.

    "I'm ready," Cologna told the Associated Press' Mattias Karen (via the Miami Herald). "My injury is in the past, but not totally. It still hurts a little bit, but it doesn't hurt to move. It won't affect my results."

    He'll have to worry about double Olympic champion Petter Northug. The Norwegian won gold at Vancouver in the 50-kilometer mass start and the freestyle team sprint. He finished fourth in his last outing and, back in 2011, won the skiathlon World Championships

    Norway's Martin Johnsrud Sundby was second in this year's World Championships in Italy and stands to be in the mix.

    Gold: Martin Johnsrud Sundby, Norway

    Silver: Petter Northug, Norway

    Bronze: Dario Cologna, Switzerland

Men's Alpine: Downhill

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    Austria's Matthias Mayer took gold in the men's downhill.
    Austria's Matthias Mayer took gold in the men's downhill.Associated Press

    Austria's Matthias Mayer was the surprise winner of the men's downhill competition, while favorites Bode Miller and Aksel Lund Svindal failed to make the podium. 

    Mayer, the son of 1988 Olympic silver medalist Helmut Mayer, completed the course in a time of 2:06.23, then had to sweat out the runs of all the perceived contenders. He finished 0.06 seconds ahead of Italy's Christof Innerhofer, while Norway's Kjetil Jansrud was 0.1 seconds behind to earn the bronze.

    Miller, the five-time Olympic medal winner who won bronze in this event at Vancouver in 2010, was 0.31 seconds ahead of Mayer's pace after two intervals but a tough go in the middle of the course spelled his doom. His time of 2:06.75 placed him in eighth.

    Norway's Lund Svindal, the 2010 silver medalist, finished fourth at 2:06.52, while defending Olympic champion Didier Defago of Switzerland was 14th out of 50 skiers.

    Gold: Matthias Mayer, Switzerland, 2:06.23

    Silver: Christof Innerhofer, Italy, 2:06.29 

    Bronze: Kjetil Jansrud, Norway, 2:06.33


    Pre-Event Predictions

    The downhill is one of more exciting events on the Olympic card. Austria, Norway, France, Germany and the United States all have skiers who can land on the podium.

    The United States is led by Bode Miller. Even at age 36, he had a great winter, finishing third in the downhill at the latest World Cup. Ted Ligety, who hasn't performed well in the downhill in his recent starts, stands an outside shot at medaling. His last effort in Wengen netted him a 13th-place finish, but that wasn't even a World Cup event.

    Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal will be the man to beat on the mountain. He's No. 1 in the world in the downhill and finished second and third at the last World Cups.

    While Miller and Svindal will dominate the headlines, a talented pack of contenders will be in the event. Patrick Kueng of Switzerland is the one in this group to watch, as he has skied extremely well in the lead-up to Sochi. 

    Gold: Aksel Lund Svindal, Norway

    Silver: Patrick Kueng, Switzerland

    Bronze: Bode Miller, United States

Figure Skating: Team Trophy Day 3

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    Associated Press

    A decorated veteran and a raw rookie half his age anchored a gold-medal performance for Russia in the new team figure skating event.

    After getting second and winning their short programs respectively, 31-year-old Evgeny Plyushchenko and 15-year-old Yulia Lipnitskaya both won their free skates on Sunday before a rapturous Russian crowd at the Iceberg Skating Palace. 

    Supported by solid skates from the pairs and ice dancers, the host country easily captured the top spot in the overall team standings and ignited national hopes for dominance in individual competition.

    Canada finished in the silver position with a consistent arsenal of performances led by 2010 Olympic champs Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir in ice dance.

    The U.S. overcame a subpar performance from Jeremy Abbott in the men's short program to make the final on the strength of their great ice dance team Meryl Davis and Charlie White, then vaulted all the way to bronze thanks to strong women's skates from both Ashley Wagner and newcomer Gracie Gold.

    The team event has been a bonding experience for each team's skater, and it sets the stage nicely for the individual competitions, which begin next week.

    Gold: Russia, 75

    Silver: Canada, 65

    Bronze: United States, 60


    Pre-Event Predictions

    Heading into Sunday's program, Russia has the lead with 47 points, followed by Canada with 41 and the United States with 34. 

    Meryl Davis and Charlie White helped pull the United States into contention for a medal. They twizzled their way to a dazzling program and buoyed Team USA's hope of a medal in team figure skating. 

    Figure skating had its share of drama Saturday as there was suspected collusion among judges. The Americans and Canadians will need to some luck and the programs of their lives to vault the Russians come Sunday.

    Gold: Russia

    Silver: United States

    Bronze: Canada

Men's Ski Jumping: Individual Normal Hill

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    Kamil Stoch, of Poland, has won the last two World Cups.
    Kamil Stoch, of Poland, has won the last two World Cups.Associated Press

    Kamil Stoch of Poland is the 2013 world champion. Now, he's the 2014 Olympic champion.

    After finishing off the podium in Turin and Vancouver, Stoch made his first Olympic medal a gold one on Sunday at the RusSki Gorki Ski Jumping Center. He finished with 278.0 points, a lead of 12.7 points over his closest rival. 

    Slovenian 21-year-old Peter Prevc laid down a spectacular second jump to move up in the standings and capture silver with 265.3 points, while 2010 team large-hill bronze medalist Anders Bardal of Norway scored 264.1 to finish with the bronze.

    There were no North American finalists in the normal hill event.

    Ski jumping will continue on Feb. 14 with qualifying for the large hill event.

    Gold: Kamil Stoch, Poland

    Silver: Peter Prevc, Slovenia

    Bronze: Anders Bardal, Norway


    Pre-Event Predictions

    Poland's Kamil Stoch could be as sure a thing to win gold as there is in Sochi. Stoch won the last two World Cups and has carried that hot form over to Sochi. He, along with nine others, pre-qualified for the normal hill final.

    Austria's Michael Hayboeck, Germany's Andreas Wank and Japan's Reruhi Shimizu are among the top finishers after Saturday's qualifying.

    The Americans were led by Anders Johnson, who was 26th after qualifying, and Peter Frenette, who was 35th.

    Stoch is too strong to take down, and the other nine who pre-qualified with him—Peter Prevc and Noriaki Kasai included—are the leading contenders to fill in silver and bronze.

    Gold: Kamil Stoch, Poland

    Silver: Peter Prevc, Slovenia

    Bronze: Noriaki Kasai, Japan

Women's Speedskating: 3,000 Meters

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    The Netherlands' Ireen Wust won the 3,000 meters, her third career Olympic gold.
    The Netherlands' Ireen Wust won the 3,000 meters, her third career Olympic gold.Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Ireen Wust of the Netherlands won her third career Olympic gold medal and second in the 3,000 meters, taking first place in Sunday's event at the Adler Arena Skating Center. 

    The 27-year-old Wust, who won the 2006 gold in the 3,000 at Turin but finished seventh in 2010, finished in a time of 4:00.34. She beat 2010 gold medalist Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic by 1.61 seconds.  

    The bronze went to Russia's Olga Graf, who skated the course in 4:03.47 to give the Olympic host country its first medal of these Games.  

    Gold: Ireen Wust, Netherlands, 4:00.34

    Silver: Martina Sablikova, Czech Republic, 4:01.95

    Bronze: Olga Graf, Russia, 4:03.47


    Pre-Event Predictions

    Ireen Wust of the Netherlands, who won the gold medal in 2006 in the 3,000 meters, has been the best all-around skater each of the past three years and looks as strong as ever.  

    Germany's Claudia Pechstein won the gold medal in the 3,000 at the last World Cup in Calgary, and the Czech Republic's Martina Sablikova took silver—both ahead of Wust, who took third. Sablikova and Pechstein were one-two in the Salt Lake City World Cup prior Calgary, so it appears they are in strong form heading into Sochi. 

    Jilleanne Rookard of the United States placed 12th in the 3,000 at the Vancouver Games and is unlikely to hit the podium.

    Gold: Ireen Wust, Netherlands

    Silver: Martina Sablikova, Czech Republic

    Bronze: Claudia Pechstein, Germany