Sunday’s Sochi roundup: Anderson golden in snowboard slopestyle
With Anderson gold, US sweeps SB Slopestyle
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Jamie Anderson (South Lake Tahoe, Calif.) gave the United States a sweep of the gold medals in snowboard slopestyle by winning the women’s competition Sunday afternoon at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park in Sochi’s Mountain Cluster.
Anderson saved the best for last, scoring a 95.25 on her second run to surge into the lead. Enni Rukajarvi of Finland took the silver with a 92.50, while Jenny Jones of Great Britain won the bronze medal with an 87.25. With the gold-medal performance by Sage Kotsenburg (Park City, Utah) on Saturday, the United States swept the gold in the event.
Karly Shorr (Milford, Mich.) finished sixth with a 75.00. Two other Americans, Jessika Jenson (Rigby, Idaho) and Ty Walker (Stowe, Vt.) placed 13th and 14th, respectively.
Gold for Poland in normal hill jumping
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Kamil Stoch uncorked the longest jumps in both rounds of the normal hill ski jumping final on Sunday night, adding an exclamation point to the first weekend of the Sochi Games by claiming the first Winter Olympic gold medal for Poland since Sapporo, 42 years ago.
Stoch was leading after the first round of the finals at RusSki Gorki Jumping Center in Krasnaya Polyana, having put down the longest jump of the night, 105 meters. And he went nearly as far, 103.5 meters, in the final round. It was plenty far enough, giving him a total of 278 points, well ahead of silver medalist Peter Prevc of Slovenia (265.3) and Anders Bardal of Norway (264.1), who got the bronze.
When Stoch landed his gold-medal clinching jump, Polish coaches punched the sky and jumped for joy up on the tower, and fans waved the red and white Polish flag and danced in the stands. Stoch threw kisses to the camera with his orange-gloved hands.
On a comfortably cool night with just enough breeze to stir the flags that surround the jumping stadium, a near-capacity crowd turned out for the first ski jumping medal event of the Sochi Olympics. And they were rewarded with a night of quality performances.
For the American team, there was disappointment in that none of the three jumpers who had made the finals were able to make the top 30 in the first round, and qualify for the final jump. Nicholas Alexander came closest, with a first round jump of 96 meters to finish 34th. Peter Frenette (91.5 meters) was 45th and Anders Johnson (92 meters) was 47th.
Simon Amman of Switzerland, the defending Olympic champion on both the normal and large hills, had an off night and finished 17th.
Next up at the RusSki Gorki Ski Jumping center is an Olympic first on Tuesday night, the women’s ski jumping competition.
Americans skip downhill training
ROSA KHUTOR, Russia — On a day when the Americans opted for some rest, Austria’s Nicole Hosp led the final downhill training ahead of Monday’s Olympic super combined. She clocked a time of 1 minute, 31.36 seconds.
A total of 26 skiers sat out the training run, but not the Austrians and several other notables.
Fabienne Suter of Switzerland finished second, 0.21 seconds back, and Regina Sterz of Austria was third, 0.43 behind. Defending overall champion Tina Maze was fourth as Anna Fenninger and current overall leader Maria Hoefl-Riesch tied for sixth.
The super combined opens the women’s alpine medal events, followed by the downhill Wednesday.
Swiss skier wins men’s skiathlon in photo finish
Switzerland’s Dario Cologna won the men’s cross-country skiathlon on Sunday, outskating a small breakaway group to the line after 30km of skiing at the Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center.
Cologna is a three time overall World Cup winner, but he missed the first part of this season following ankle surgery. In the skiathlon, which includes 15km of classical skiing and 15km of freestyle, he beat Sweden’s Marcus Hellner by four-tenths of a second, 1:08:15.4 to 1:08:15.8. Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway was close behind, taking the bronze medal in 1:08:16.8.
For the U.S., Noah Hoffman was the top finisher in 35th, with Erik Bjornsen 42nd, Brian Gregg 47th and Kris Freeman 54th.