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.
China has won its third gold of the Sochi Olympics, continuing its dominance of the women’s short track events after sweeping all four titles in Vancouver. Following Li Jianrou’s shock win in the 500 m on Thursday (Day 6), Zhou Yang successfully retained her title in the 1,500 m on Saturday evening, winning the third Olympic gold medal of her career. No news yet as to whether she thanked her country afterwards…
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.
Barely three hours after winning its first gold in Sochi, China has another one. Zhang Hong surprised the field by posting a sensational time early in the women’s 1000 m (long track) speed skating event, that was simply too good for the rest. Her winning time of 1:14.02, set in the 7th of 18 heats (the best skaters typically go towards the end), was a massive 0.67 ahead of second place.
It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. Fan Kexin was the anointed successor to China’s most decorated Winter Olympian Wang Meng, following Wang’s double ankle fracture in training last month. If Wang had been a certainty to win (at least in Chinese minds), then Fan was the next best thing, stepping into the breach as China’s short track production line all moved up one slot in the rankings.
It was all going according to plan: Fan posted the fastest time in the heats, then again in the quarterfinals. But it all went horribly wrong in the semifinals. Continue reading China wins gold in Sochi!
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.