3G, 2S, 0B – 9th place overall
3G, 2S, 0B – 9th place overall
After a slow start, China has won medals on each of the last three days and its tally of 3 golds and 2 silvers has China in a very creditable 8th position overall at the time of writing. It was a golden Saturday for China, but Sunday could be a quiet day.
Day 7 review
Chinese interest on Valentine’s Day focused on the women’s aerials competition, but it was a late one: three of the four Chinese competitors made it through to the final, which didn’t start until 0130 China time. Once there, all three – Xu Mengtao (above), Li Nina and Cheng Shuang – made it through the first stage as four of the 12 finalists were eliminated; then Xu, the 2013 world champion, and Li, Olympic silver medalist in 2006 and 2010, made it through to the final four with defending champ Lydia Lassila from Australia and Belarusian Alla Tsuper, a 34-year-old mother taking the last jump of a 16-year Olympic career that had seen her finish 5th, 9th, 10th and 8th – but no medals. Continue reading Another medal for China on Day 7
Well that was unexpected.
China won the 500 m women’s short track title for the fourth consecutive time – but no one would have guessed that Li Jianrou would be the one to do it – and then Zhang Hong (left) won China’s first ever (long track) speed skating Olympic title in an even more stunning result. It was also the first time China has won two gold medals on the same day at a Winter Olympics.
Day 5 review
It wasn’t to be for China’s veteran figure skater duo Tong Jian and Pang Qing, who made their competitive swansong on Wednesday evening in the free program of the pairs competition. They started in 4th place after their short program, and that’s where they finished, despite a free program that was third best overall. Consolation prize for retiring? They now have time to get married. Russia finished 1-2, matching China’s finish from four years ago, and the Germans were third. China’s other pair – Cheng Peng and Zhang Hao – finished in 8th.
Day 4 review
Tuesday February 11 was a solid – but ultimately disappointing – day for China. Speed skater Zhang Hong (pictured left) pulled out the performance of the day in the first run of the women’s 2 x 500 m. Her time of 37.58 was a new track record at the time, though two competitors later went faster, placing Zhang in bronze medal position at the half way point. Her second race was considerably slower at 37.99 for a 4th place finish – 0.1 seconds out of bronze – but she’ll have another chance in the 1,000 m.
Day 3 review
As predicted, things got better for China on Monday Feb 10. Much better.
As expected, Sunday February 9 provided little in the way of Chinese cheer: in cross-country, Xu Wenlong finished 59th (out of 68) in the men’s skiathlon,
while biathletes Zhang Yan, Tang Jialin, Song Chaoqing and Song Na finished 49th, 55th, 63rd and 83rd (out of 84) respectively. Song Na missed a team-high four targets in total, and, at 18, clearly hasn’t realized that if you’re going to have rock star hairstyle, you’d better be ready to play in the big leagues.
China has long been known as a Summer Olympic powerhouse (3rd, 2nd, 1st, 2nd in last four Games), with an almost impenetrable grip on sports such as diving and table tennis, but in recent years, it has been at the Winter Olympic Games where China has made the most improvements.
China finished in 16th place in the medal table in Nagano in 1998, then posted 13th and 14th place finishes in Salt Lake City and Turin respectively, but leapt up to 7th in Vancouver four years ago and, in the process, became a genuine force to be reckoned with at the Winter Olympics. Here are the most likely contenders to win medals for the motherland in Sochi: Continue reading Winter Olympics preview: China’s medal hopes [UPDATED]