Sochi Winter Olympics 2014: Day 5 Medal Predictions and Results

Lindsay Gibbs@linzsports Featured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2014

Sochi Winter Olympics 2014: Day 5 Medal Predictions and Results

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    Bernat Armangue/Associated Press

    The Americans got it done on the halfpipe this time around.

    Kaitlyn Farrington had the ride of her life and won gold for the U.S. women's snowboarders. She nailed the final run of the day and that enabled her to climb to the top of the medal stand. She got to share that moment with teammate Kelly Clark, who took the bronze medal in the event.

    The Russians got the gold medal they wanted in the pairs figure skating championship. Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov dominated the competition, and the Russian fans roared with approval. They were also pleased to see Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov bring home the silver medal.

    There were two gold medals in the women's downhill skiing, as Dominique Gisin of Switzerland and Tina Maze of Slovenia received identical times of 1 minute, 41.57 seconds.

    Shani Davis of the United States was hoping for his third straight gold medal in the 1,000-meter race, but he finished eighth as Dutch skater Stefan Groothuis won the event.

    Elsewhere, Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt of Germany won the doubles luge competition, while Eric Frenzel of Germany won the Nordic combined.

Women's Alpine Skiing: Downhill

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    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    The first medal event of the day in Sochi was an historic one as Tina Maze of Slovenia and Switzerland's Dominique Gisin tied for the gold medal in the women's downhill with a time of 1 minute, 41.57 seconds.

    The tie for gold was the first ever in the history of alpine skiing at the Winter Olympics, and it handed the Swiss their first gold in the event since the 1984 Games in Sarajevo when Michela Figini won the competition.

    There had been three medal ties in alpine history, but none of them were for the gold. 

    Gisin started eighth on the course at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center, and she was joined at the top of the podium by Maze, who left the starting gate 21st. 

    With no silver medal being awarded because of the tie, Lara Gut of Switzerland earned the bronze medal with a time of 1:41.67.

    The pair of medals doubled Switzerland's overall medal count, which now sits at four and contains three golds. 

    Maze earned the fourth overall and first gold medal of the Games for Slovenia. 

    Julia Mancuso was the highest-placing American in eighth place with a time of 1:42.56. 

    Gold: Dominique Gisin (Switzerland): 1:41.57

    Gold: Tina Maze (Slovenia): 1:41.57

    Bronze: Lara Gut (Switzerland): 1:41.67

    Last updated by Joe Tansey. 

    Pre-Event Predictions: 

    Before the Games began, the Associated Press predicted that Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany would win the downhill race in Sochi. After all, she is the current World Cup leader in Alpine skiing.

    But downhill is not the German superstar’s best event—she’s never won a world championship gold or silver in the event. Although Hoefl-Riesch has had a great start to the 2014 Games, taking the gold medal in the super combined, she finished in fifth place in the downhill portion of the race.

    It was Julia Mancuso from the U.S. who finished first in the super combined downhill run, with almost a half-second lead over Lara Gut from Switzerland. Mancuso, who won silver in the downhill in Vancouver, is a huge threat in this race—with her super combined bronze on Monday she became the most decorated American female Alpine skier in Olympic history.

    Besides Hoefl-Riesch, Mancuso's biggest competitors will be Gut, Tina Maze from Slovenia and Anna Fenninger of Austria.


    Gold: Julia Mancuso, United States

    Silver: Maria Hoefl-Riesch, Germany

    Bronze: Lara Gut, Switzerland

Nordic Combined: Individual Normal Hill

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    Lars Baron/Getty Images

    Winning the gold medal was not easy for Germany's Eric Frenzel, but when the pressure-packed situations faced him, he made it look easy in the nordic combined individual hill competition.

    Frenzel finished first after the normal hill ski jump, and he pulled past Japan's Akito Watabe on the final lap of the 10-kilometer cross-country race to win gold. 

    When he entered the final straightaway, Frenzel was able to lift his arms in celebration as he won the first gold in nordic combined at the Sochi Games.

    Frenzel's gold was the fifth for Germany, a total that leads all nations in Sochi. 

    Watabe put in a valiant effort during the entire competition, but he did not have enough in the end to be crowded Olympic champion. 

    Behind the dueling duo of Frenzel and Watabe, Magnus Krog of Norway won the bronze medal with a cross-country time of 22:55.3.

    Gold: Eric Frenzel (Germany)

    Silver: Akito Watabe (Japan)

    Bronze: Magnus Krog (Norway) 

    Last updated by Joe Tansey. 

    Pre-Event Predictions: 

    Nordic combined has been in the Winter Olympics since the beginning, and with the addition of women's ski jumping, it remains the only skiing event to only allow men to compete.

    The individual normal hill event in the Nordic combined involves two parts: a jump from the normal hill and a 10-kilometer race. Each man gets only one jump, which is scored by distance and style. The starting order in the race is decided by the points from the jump.

    Eric Frenzel from Germany is the reigning world champion in this event and has won gold in five World Cup events this season. He's the favorite, and he is not bothered by the pressure. "You have to accept this role," he told reporters, per "The situation is not to my disadvantage." 

    Jason Lamy Chappuis, defending Olympic champion, has won gold twice this season and is a big threat as well.

    Frenzel also needs to watch out for Haavard Klemetsen, Mikko Kokslien, Magnus Moan and the rest of a deep Norwegian team. Akito Watabe from Japan, who won four medals this World Cup season, is also a podium threat. The Americans are not expected to be in the running for a medal.


    Gold: Eric Frenzel, Germany

    Silver: Jason Lamy Chappuis, France

    Bronze: Haavard Klemetsen, Norway

Men's Speedskating: 1,000 Meters

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    Pavel Golovkin/Associated Press

    Shani Davis wanted to win his third gold medal in the 1,000-meter race in speedskating, but the speed and power that had carried him to gold in Turin and Vancouver was gone from his legs.

    The 31-year-old Davis had to settle for eighth place in his favorite event.

    Davis appeared to be on track through the first 200 meters, but he did not assert himself in the next 400 meters. He was skating from behind and had little to offer in the final lap. He could only shake his head as he finished the race well back in the pack.

    While it was bad news for Davis and his American teammates, it was once again great news for the Dutch skaters. Stefan Groothuis won the race with a time of 1 minute, 8.39 seconds, which was good enough to edge out Canadian Denny Morrison, who recorded an impressive time of 1:08.43.

    Dutch skater Michel Mulder took home the bronze medal, crossing the line in 1:08.74. It's been a spectacular showing for Mulder, who earlier won gold in the 500-meter speedskating sprint.

    Americans Brian Hansen and Joey Mantia finished ninth and 15th, respectively.

    Gold: Stefan Groothuis, Netherlands

    Silver: Denny Morrison, Canada

    Bronze: Michel Mulder, Netherlands

    Last updated by Steve Silverman.

    Pre-event prediction

    Shaun White had a chance to make history on Tuesday as the first U.S. Olympian to win three straight golds in one event, but he failed. Now it's time for Shani Davis to try. 

    Davis, the top American speedskater, won the gold medal in the 1,000 meters in Turin and Vancouver. Now 31 and likely in his final Olympics, he's the favorite for the three-peat. However, we've learned throughout these Olympics how difficult it truly is to defend a title, let alone win three in a row. 

    Michel Mulder of the Netherlands, who won the gold in the 500 meters, is the biggest threat to take over Davis' crown, though the entire Dutch speedskating team is incredibly strong and has been dominating the Sochi Games so far.

    American Brian Hansen is a threat to make it onto the podium—in fact, the Associated Press has predicted that he will get the bronze. Denis Kuzin of Kazakhstan, who nearly retired from the sport when he had a bad shoulder injury in 2012, is one to watch as well. 


    Gold: Michel Mulder, Netherlands

    Silver: Shani Davis, United States

    Bronze: Denis Kuzin, Kazakhstan

Men's Luge: Doubles

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    Dita Alangkara/Associated Press

    The German wonder team did it again.

    Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt of Germany were the heavy favorites going in to the two-man luge event, and they simply blew away the field with two powerful runs at the Sanki Sliding Center.

    Wendl and Arlt, known as Team Tobias to their supporters, roared down the run with a time of 1 minute, 38.933 seconds, and that gave them better than a half-second victory over silver medalists Andreas and Wolfgang Linger of Austria.

    The bronze medal went to Andris and Juris Sics of Latvia, who edged out the Canadian sliding duo of Tristan Walker and Justin Snith.

    Shockingly, Peter Penz and Georg Fischler of Austria fell all the way to last place in the event after a disastrous final run in which both lugers were flailing their arms and legs as they attempted to remain in control. While they did not crash, they blew a chance to win a medal. 

    Americans Matthew Mortensen and Preston Griffall finished in 14th place.

    Gold: Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt, Germany

    Silver: Andreas Linger and Wolfgang Linger, Austria

    Bronze: Andris Sics and Juris Sics, Latvia

    Last updated by Steve Silverman.

    Pre-event predictions

    The Germans seem to always be the favorites in luge events, and the doubles is no exception. World Cup champions Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt are the favorites to take the title. 

    Wendl and Arlt have simply been dominant all year long, winning gold in six of the nine World Cup events and taking the World Cup title. In two of the three events where they failed to win gold, their countrymen Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken stepped in to fill the void.

    Outside of the Germans, two-time defending Olympic champions Andreas and Wolfgang Linger are back in the field this year. The Austrian brothers have faded a bit in recent years, but they did win two bronzes and a silver in this World Cup season.

    Other teams to watch are Austrians Peter Penz and Georg Fischler, Italians Christian Oberstolz and Patrick Gruber and Russians Vladislav Yuzhakov and Vladimir Makhnutin. Americans Christian Niccum and Jayson Terdiman and Matt Mortensen and Preston Griffall will be trying to medal as well. 


    Gold: Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt, Germany

    Silver: Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken, Germany

    Bronze: Andreas and Wolfgang Linger, Austria

Women's Snowboarding: Halfpipe

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    Felipe Dana/Associated Press

    There is glory on the halfpipe for the United States women.

    A day after Shaun White failed to hit the medal stand in the event, Kaitlyn Farrington tore it up in her final run and won the gold medal with a spectacular score of 91.75. That gave her a quarter-point edge on Australia's Torah Bright, who won the event in Vancouver in 2010.

    Kelly Clark was the last boarder of the day, and she had a chance to win it. She had an excellent run, but she struggled just a bit when landing her 1080, and that forced her to settle for the bronze medal with a score of 90.75.

    The United States was nearly in a position to sweep, as Hannah Teter ended up in fourth place with a score of 90.50. Once Bright put her 91.50 on the scoreboard, that meant the Americans could not sweep the medals.

    However, bringing home the gold and bronze made it a very memorable day for Farrington, Clark and the American snowboarding team.

    Gold: Kaitlyn Farrington, United States

    Silver: Torah Bright, Australia

    Bronze: Kelly Clark, United States

    Last updated by Steve Silverman. 

    Pre-event prediction

    A day after the men broke the halfpipe in, the women will take over. The big favorite is American Kelly Clark, who is now in her fourth Olympics. 

    Clark won a gold medal at her first Games in Salt Lake City when she was only 18. In 2006, she failed to medal, and in 2010 in Vancouver, she took the bronze. She's been dominant ever since, though, and is looking to get back her gold.

    Clark, who lands frontside 1080 rotations with ease, told USA Today's Rachel Axon that she still competes because, "I love the sport more than ever."

    American Arielle Gold, whose brother, Taylor, competed in the men's snowboarding halfpipe, was seen as one of her biggest threats before she was forced to withdraw due to injury suffered during training, per Lindsay Jones of USA Today. Vancouver gold medalist Torah Bright and Li Shuang from China are also seen as the top medal threats.


    Gold: Kelly Clark, United States

    Silver: Torah Bright, Australia

    Bronze: Li Shuang, China

    Note: Prior to her injury, Gold was predicted to win silver and Bright was predicted to win bronze.

Figure Skating: Pairs

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    Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press

    It may have been an Olympic event, but it felt more like a coronation.

    That's because it seemed like a done deal even before Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov took the ice at the Iceberg Skating palace. The Russian pair is just so dynamic and skilled that it was clear none of their competition would be able to stay with them if they were at their best.

    Volosozhar and Trankov certainly were at the top of their game. They received a score of 152.69 for their free skate (sometimes called the long program), which—combined with their remarkable showing in the short program yesterday—earned them a mark of 236.86.

    Volosozhar and Trankov received a bronze medal in Vancouver in 2010, and they have improved dramatically since then. They were joined on the podium by Russian teammates Fedor Klimov and Ksenia Stolbova, who took the silver medal with a score of 218.68.

    Germany's Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy continued their strong skating and picked up the bronze medal.

    Americans Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir received a score of 187.82 and had to settle for ninth place. They had hoped to find a way to reach the podium, but they could not put together that kind of performance.

    Gold: Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, Russia

    Silver: Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor klimov, Russia

    Bronze: Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy

    Last updated by Steve Silverman.

    Pre-event prediction

    When it comes to pairs figure skating, it’s all about the home country.

    On Tuesday, Russians Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov brought down the house with their world-record scoring short program. The favorites before the event, they now have a big lead over their competitors and should win the gold unless there is a disaster in their free skate.

    Their compatriots Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov also had a fabulous routine and are sitting in third place, with Canadian and Chinese teams nipping at their heels.

    The Germans Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy were thought to be the biggest threats to Volosozhar and Trankov going into these Games, and after their crowd-pleasing “Pink Panther” routine, they’re comfortably in second place. 

    The free skates (sometimes known as long programs) will decide the medal winners on Wednesday.


    Gold:  Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, Russia

    Silver: Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, Germany

    Bronze: Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov, Russia