Day eight of the Winter Olympics brought more warm sunshine to the Black Sea coast where there were seven finals.
In Alpine skiing, Austrian Anna Fenninger took gold in the super-G, the first Olympic medal for the world champion in the super-combined.
Before Saturday’s win, the best result for the 24-year-old was 16th place in the same discipline at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.
Just over half of a second behind Fenninger was German Maria Hofl-Riesch, claiming her second Sochi medal. Fenninger’s team mate Nicole Hosp finished third.
But, just finishing the course proved a big challenge for the early starters. Eighteen athletes failed to complete their runs, including Swiss sensation Dominique Gizin and Austrian Elisabeth Goergl.
Sweden won the gold medal in the women’s cross country 4 × 5 kilometre relay in stunning fashion from nearly 30 seconds behind to capture the victory in the final 100 metres.
Kalla started the final leg in third position, 25.7 seconds behind Finland. She closed that gap around 300 metres out and won the sprint to the finish line. Finland took silver and Germany won the bronze.
The main favourite, Norway, was never in contention. Marit Bjoergen had been struggling since the opening skiathlon event and couldn’t match Kalla’s furious pace. He finished in fifth place.
It was a historical men’s short-track 1,000 metres final. The Russian national team won its first ever gold in this sport, thanks to Viktor Ahn.
Competing under his original name Ahn Hyun-soo, he won three gold medals for South Korea at the 2006 Olympics in Turin before a bitter fall-out with officials in his country of birth.
Earlier this week, South Korean President Park Geun-hye ordered a government ministry to investigate how one of the country’s top athletes had ended up competing for a rival.
“I was touched by the loud applause the Russian spectators gave me… Today’s result proves that my decision was right,” Ahn said. “That’s why today is so meaningful.”
In the ladies’ 1,500 metres short-track final Chinese Yang Zhou defended her Olympic title by overtaking Korean Suk Hee Shim and Arianna Fontana from Italy.
The Olympic men’s 1,500 metres speed skating title went to Zbigniew Brodka, who won the third medal by three thousandths of a second, his country’s first speed skating medal of the Games, as America’s lack of success continued despite a change of suit.
Poland’s Kamil Stoch snatched the men’s large hill ski jumping gold from Japanese veteran Noriaki Kasai’s grasp with the very last jump on Saturday, becoming just the third man to capture both individual hills titles at the same Games.
In the men’s ice hockey competition at the Bolshoy Ice Dome, host nation Russia were one of the main contenders for victory.
The game was fast-paced and filled with scoring chances, some controversy and plenty of edge-of-your seat drama.
In the third period, Russia tied the game at 2-2 and appeared to have taken the lead in the closing minutes, but an apparent goal was disallowed because the US net was slightly dislodged.
T.J. Oshie added his name to the list of American Olympic heroes with a shootout
performance that lifted the United States to a 3-2 win leaving Russia heartbroken.
Russian President Vladimir Putin watched the game, and later visited compatriot and skicross racer Maria Komissarova, who underwent over six hours of surgery after breaking her back in a training crash in the mountains.
The president spoke to the 23-year-old, who is conscious, after her operation, and telephoned her father to reassure him that she was getting the best care possible.
At the end of the eighth day, Germany remains at the top of the team standings. Switzerland is in second place. Russia, in third place, has fifteen medals, thanks to two golds and one silver they scored on Saturday.