The most important Russian to China right now is not Vladimir Putin, but it’s a man who knows him very well: Alexander Zhukov. That’s because he has just been appointed head of the evaluation commission for the 2022 Winter Games. In other words, he is leading the team that will select the host city.
Coming into the 2014 Paralympic Games, China had amassed an impressive 326 gold, 259 silver, and 198 bronze medals 1984-2012, but all 783 of them had come in the Summer Games. The best result at a Winter Games had been a fifth place finish by Peng Yuanyuan in the women’s 5km cross-country classic style standing in Vancouver four years ago.
Paralympic action starts today in Sochi with China’s 10-strong contingent looking to claim the country’s first ever Winter Paralympic medal. Five of the 10 form the curling team, which finished third at the World Championships in both 2012 and 2013, so a medal is a definite possibility. The other five are cross-country skiers: no red hot favorites, but results have been improving and a podium finish is not out of the question.
[UPDATE: Did the Koreans do exactly the same as the Chinese but get away with it? Canada’s head coach says yes…]
Following the controversial women’s short track 3,000 m relay final four years ago in Vancouver in which the Korean team crossed the line first, but were disqualified after a Chinese protest – giving China the gold – the rematch took place yesterday and it certainly lived up to the hype. Here are the highlights: Continue reading Koreans get relay revenge as China is disqualified
Day 11 preview
Short track returns and the big one for China is the women’s 3,000 m relay final. China is the defending champion, but the Koreans will start as favorites having had the better form and quicker times in recent months. Continue reading China vs Korea Part 2: Bad blood revisited
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.
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
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.