Sochi Winter Olympics: Day 11 Medals Predictions and Results

Meri-Jo BorzilleriSpecial to Bleacher ReportFebruary 17, 2014

Sochi Winter Olympics: Day 11 Medals Predictions and Results

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    Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

    American Alex Deibold earned a bronze medal in men's snowboard cross, one of seven events scheduled to award medals during Day 11 of the Sochi Winter Games.

    In the first-ever men's ski halfpipe event, David Wise of the U.S also captured gold on the strength of a strong first run. 

    The women's giant slalom saw Slovenia's Tina Maze win her second gold in Sochi, while Korea's women's relay team took gold in the 3,000-meter short-track speedskating race.

    There was a photo finish in the men's 15-kilometer mass start biathlon, with Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen edging out France's Martin Fourcade. Norway also took the long hill Nordic combined event, with Joergen Graabak taking the title just a hair ahead of countryman Magnus Hovdal Moan.

    At the Olympic oval, the speedskating team from the Netherlands continued its domination. Jorrit Bergsma set an Olympic record as the Dutch took over the lead in the overall medal count by sweeping the podium positions in the men's 10,000 meters.

    Check out the slideshow for predictions and complete results.

Freestyle Skiing: Men’s Ski Halfpipe

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    Sergei Grits/Associated Press

    David Wise of the United States has won the first-ever Olympic gold medal in men's halfpipe as part of the freestyle skiing competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

    With heavy snow pelting down, many skiers were forced to dial back their tricks to complete their runs without crashing. 

    U.S. favorite Wise didn't hold back, laying down a terrific first run that earned him a score of 92.00 points before crashing on an easy trick in the second run.

    Mike Riddle of Canada raised his level significantly on his second run, scoring a 90.60 to move into second place thanks to back-to-back doubles at the top of the pipe, while Kevin Rolland of France captured the bronze with 88.60.

    Aaron Blunck was the second U.S. skier in the competition. He qualified in 12th place but moved up to seventh in the final with a solid second run.

     

    Final Results:

    Gold: David Wise - United States - 92.00

    Silver: Mike Riddle - Canada - 90.60

    Bronze: Kevin Rolland - France - 88.60

     

    Update by Carol Schram

     

    Pre-Event Predictions

    Making its Olympic debut, the sport should draw significant eyeballs as the higher-flying version of its snowboarding counterpart.

    American David Wise, who married at 20 and is a youth pastor (his nickname: The Undude), is the favorite. According to Pat Graham of The Associated Press, he has a new trick in store for the fans in Sochi.

    His teammate Torin Yater-Wallace, 18, dropped from gold-medal contender after being injured in a December crash. But he’ll still compete.

    Aaron Blunck and Lyman Currier are part of a strong U.S. team that could sweep, matching the Americans’ ski-slopestyle contingent.

    Canadians Justin Dorey and Mike Riddle, along with France’s Kevin Rolland, could also medal.

Speedskating: Men’s 10,000 Meters

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    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    The domination continued for the Dutch speedskaters in the men's 10,000-meter event on Tuesday at the Adler Arena.

    With three skaters entered in the race, the team from the Netherlands swept the medals once again. Jorrit Bergsma set a new Olympic record and track record in the sixth pairing to win the gold with a time of 12:44.45. 

    Favorite Sven Kramer faded late in the race to finish in the silver-medal position with a time of 12:49.03 while 10,000-meter specialist Bob de Jong captured his fourth Olympic medal, a bronze, in 13:07.19.

    From the U.S., Emery Lehman finished the event in 10th place with a 13:28.67 time, just edging out teammate Patrick Meek's 13:28.72.

    With the team pursuit still on the horizon, skaters from the traditionally strong long-track nation of Norway caused a stir back home when they decided to pull out of the gruelling 10,000-meter distance and save themselves for an event where they believe they'll have a better chance to medal.

    The sweep moves the Netherlands to the top of the medal chart in Sochi on Tuesday, with 19 of their 20 medals coming at the long-track oval.

    Gold: Jorrit Bergsman - 12:44.45

    Silver: Sven Kramer - 12:49.02

    Bronze: Bob de Jong - 13:07.19

    Update by Carol Schram

     

    Pre-Event Predictions

    There’s no reason to doubt the continued success of the Dutch, who have dominated the Sochi Games like perhaps no other team in Olympic history with 16 long-track speedskating medals (five gold).

    Not only can they win this event, but they can also sweep it.

    Sven Kramer, who holds the world record, will try to make up for a disastrous 2010 Olympics in this event, when he lost gold due to a lane-change violation.

    Veteran teammate Bob de Jong, 37, the 2006 Olympic champion and winner of three Olympic medals in the 10,000, has been saving himself for this event, skating no other race in Sochi.

    Patrick Meek and Emery Lehman will skate for the U.S. but are not considered medal contenders.

     

    Medal predictions

    Gold: Sven Kramer, Netherlands

    Silver: Bob de Jong, Netherlands

    Bronze: Jorrit Bergsma, Netherlands

Snowboarding: Men's Cross

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    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    France's Pierre Vaultier pulled past Russian crowd favorite Nikolay Olyunin on the final turn to win gold in the men's snowboard cross competition Tuesday at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

    American Alex Deibold earned the bronze, edging out 2006 bronze medalist Paul-Henri De Le Rue of France.

    The final featured six riders who weren't considered among the top medal contenders in the 34-person field, but crashes and slow starts by the favorites slowly knocked them out as the competition went from 1/8-finals to quarterfinals to semifinals and into the medal race.

    American hopefuls Nick Baumgartner and Nick Holland both failed to advance out of the first round, while Australian Alex Pullin was eliminated in the quarterfinals.

    Gold: Pierre Vaultier, France

    Silver: Nikolay Olyunin, Russia

    Bronze: Alex Deibold, United States

     

    Pre-Event Predictions

    NOTE: This event was scheduled for Monday but was moved to Tuesday because of fog.

    Content below via Joe Menzer's Sochi Winter Olympics Day 10 predictions and results.

     

    Australia's Alex Pullin is the favorite to win gold, but Nate Holland of the United States and others hope to have something to say about that in the men's snowboard cross.

    Holland has won seven gold medals in the Winter X Games but is still seeking his first piece of hardware in what is his third Olympics. Now 35, he knows this likely is his last chance after finishing fourth in this event and just off the medal podium in the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.

    Markus Schairer of Austria and Canada's Christopher Robanske also are among those who could grab a medal.

     

    Medal Predictions

    Gold: Alex Pullin, Australia

    Silver: Nate Holland, United States

    Bronze: Markus Schairer, Austria

Women’s Alpine Skiing: Giant Slalom

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    Luca Bruno/Associated Press

    Slovenian Tina Maze won her second gold at the Sochi Olympics, taking the women's giant slalom title Tuesday afternoon at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center.

    On a day with rain slowing times in the first run and then a combination of heavy snow and fog affecting the late run, Maze managed to hold onto the lead she established after the early run to add this gold to the one she'd won in the downhill last week.

    Maze's combined time in the two runs was 2 minutes, 36.87 seconds, just 0.07 seconds ahead of Sochi super-G gold medalist Anna Fenninger of Austria.

    German Viktoria Rebensburg, who won this event in 2010 at Vancouver, had the fastest second-run time to take the bronze medal, edging out Italy's Nadia Fanchini by 0.11 seconds.

    American Mikaela Shiffrin, an 18-year-old making her Olympic debut, placed fifth. She is expected to contend for gold in the slalom later in these Games.

    Julia Mancuso did not complete her first run and failed to place in the event.

    Gold: Tina Maze, Slovenia

    Silver: Anna Fenninger, Austria

    Bronze: Viktoria Rebensburg, Germany

     

    Pre-Event Predictions

    Finally, the unveiling: American Mikaela Shiffrin makes her Olympic debut, with high hopes that she’ll come away with a medal. The teenager was last year’s slalom world champion at 17 and medaled in two World Cup giant slaloms this season. She could leave Sochi with two medals, here and in the slalom.

    She’ll face a loaded field. Look for Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany, winner of the combined event, to medal here, despite suffering from a cold. She won gold in the super combined after an impressive slalom leg when she went from fifth after the downhill to first.

    Swedes Jessica Lindell-Vikarby and Maria Pietilae-Holmner enter the fray and could land on the podium. Switzerland’s Lara Gut and Austria’s Anna Fenninger, Olympic super-G winner, are also skiing fast and have the technical chops to land on the podium, as does teammate Nicole Hosp, who won bronze in that race. Tina Maze, downhill gold medalist here, won silver at the 2013 World Championships.

    After winning bronze in the combined, Julia Mancuso is deep in her own head. If she surfaces, she could be dangerous. She won giant-slalom gold in the 2006 Games in Turin.

    Two runs of giant slalom on what is expected to be soft snow will test the field. Due to forecasted rain and snow, start times have been moved 90 minutes earlier to 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Sochi. Four years ago, the race was held over two days because of weather.

     

    Medal Predictions

    Gold: Jessica Lindell-Vikarby, Sweden

    Silver: Maria Hoefl-Riesch, Germany

    Bronze: Mikaela Shiffrin, United States

Short-Track Speedskating: Women’s 3,000-Meter Relay

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    Bernat Armangue/Associated Press

    Korea overtook China on the final lap of 27 trips around the ice to take gold in the women's 3,000-meter relay event Tuesday at the Iceberg Skating Palace.

    China ended up getting called for a penalty after the race ended, knocking it from the silver-medal position and allowing Canada to win the silver and Italy to take the bronze.

    Korea's quartet of Ha-Ri Cho, Alang Kim, Seung-Hi Park and Suk Hee Shim finished the race in a time of 4 minutes, 9.498 seconds. That ended up being 1.143 seconds ahead of Canada after China was disqualified.

    Gold: Korea

    Silver: Canada

    Bronze: Italy

     

    Pre-Event Predictions

    It should be a tight race between Korea and China for the final women’s short-track gold in these Olympics.

    While Italy, led by Arianna Fontana, is favored for bronze here, Canada could also squeeze by and make the podium.

    Korea is led by Shim Suk Hee, and China by superstar Zhou Yang, just 22, who defended her 1,500-meter gold from the 2010 Games.

    The U.S. won 2010 Olympic bronze but did not qualify for this final.

     

    Medal Predictions

    Gold: Korea

    Silver: China

    Bronze: Italy

Biathlon: Men's 15-Kilometer Mass Start

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    Felipe Dana/Associated Press

    It was a finish almost out of the tortoise and the hare fable, as Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen nearly gave away a gold medal by celebrating a win too early in the men's 15-kilometer mass start competition Tuesday at the Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center.

    Svendsen thought he had a comfortable lead on France's Martin Fourcade, prompting him the raise his arms in exultation as he slid over the finish line. Little did he know Fourcade had pulled aside him and lunged his feet forward, resulting in a photo finish as both competitors ended the race with a time of 42 minutes, 29.1 seconds.

    The photo review determined Svendsen's foot (which is used to determine a winner, rather than the tip of the skis) crossed the line just moments before Fourcade, who earned the silver to go with the golds he's won in Sochi in the 12.5-kilometer pursuit and the 20-kilometer individual events.

    The gold was the third all-time for Svendsen, who won the 20-kilometer individual and was part of Norway's 4x7.5-kilometer relay team in Vancouver in 2010.

    Earning the bronze was the Czech Republic's Ondrej Moravec, who finished 13.8 seconds behind the leaders.

    The top American was Tim Burke, who took 21st in the 30-man field. He was just ahead of Norway's Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, who failed in his bid to win a record 13th Winter Olympic medal.

    Gold: Emil Hegle Svendsen, Norway

    Silver: Martin Fourcade, France

    Bronze: Ondrej Moravec, Czech Republic

     

    Pre-Event Predictions

    UPDATE: This event was scheduled for Sunday, then Monday, but it has been postponed to Tuesday because of fog.

    Content below via Joe Menzer's Sochi Winter Olympics Day 10 predictions and results.

     

    Dense fog at the Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center forced postponement of the men's 15-kilometer mass start event. Originally scheduled for Sunday, it will now be run Tuesday as long as the weather cooperates.

    Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen is the gold-medal favorite in the event, proving that his country's top athletes not only can ski fast but also can shoot straight.

    Svendsen, 28, won two gold medals and one silver at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. But none of those came in this discipline, where he hopes to prove his versatility and add to his overall Olympic legacy.

    Svendsen may be the favorite to capture the gold, but he's just one of a handful of Norwegians expected to be in the mix for spots on the podium at the end of the day. Also expected to contend for medals on Norway's deep team are Ole Einar Bjoerndalen and Tarjei Boe, both of whom will have to fend off a strong challenge from the formidable Martin Fourcade of France.

    If Bjoerndalen can medal, it will give him the record for Winter Games medals with 13. He won gold in the 10-kilometer sprint earlier in Sochi to tie the record but finished fourth and off the podium altogether in the later 12.5-kilometer pursuit in which Fourcade claimed gold.

     

    Medal Predictions

    Gold: Emil Hegle Svendsen, Norway

    Silver: Martin Fourcade, France

    Bronze: Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, Norway

Nordic Combined: Individual Large Hill, 10-Kilometer Cross-Country

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    Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

    Norway's Joergen Graabak waited for the crowd to be in sight to make his move, then blitzed ahead of a trio of Germans to win gold in the large hill Nordic combined event Tuesday at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center.

    The 22-year-old Grabaak began the cross-country portion of competition in sixth place, starting the 10-kilometer race 42 seconds behind large hill ski jumping leader Eric Frenzel of Germany. He made up that time gradually, passing a fading Frenzel along the way, but didn't move into the lead until the front pack entered the final stretch that included several hairpin turns around the area that had previously served as the ski jump landing area.

    Grabaak finished the skiing portion in 23 minutes, 27.5 seconds, holding off fellow Norwegian Magnus Hovdal Moan by 0.6 seconds. Finishing in third was German Fabian Riessle to get the bronze.

    Freznel, who won the normal hill Nordic combined event at Sochi, ended up in 10th place, 30.4 seconds off the winning pace.

    American Bill Demong, who won the large hill Nordic combined in Vancouver in 2010, finished 31st overall.

    Gold: Joergen Graabak, Norway

    Silver: Magnus Hovdal Moan, Norway

    Bronze: Fabian Riessle, Germany

     

    Pre-Event Predictions

    Normal-hill gold medalist and world No. 1 Eric Frenzel of Germany, who easily won last week’s competition, will likely miss the competition with a virus.

    Illness is also affecting defending Olympic champion Bill Demong, who's been bothered by a persistent cough. He’s calling himself a dark horse.

    "I’m not one of the favorites. ...But I like being under the radar," he told Courtney Lewis of the Plattsburgh Press-Republican before the start of the Games.

    That leaves Japan’s Akito Watabe and Magnus Krog of Norway, silver and bronze medalists, respectively, on the normal hill as the favorites to medal again. Montana-born Jason Lamy Chappuis, the normal-hill 2010 Olympic champion who competes for France, could also figure in.

     

    Medal Predictions

    Gold: Akito Watabe, Japan

    Silver: Magnus Krog, Norway

    Bronze: Alessandro Pittin, Italy