The Winter Games in Sochi are coming to an end, and on the penultimate day of the Olympics seven sets of medals were at stake.
Norwegian Marit Bjoergen joined the pantheon of six-time Olympic champions, having emerged victorious in the 30 kilometre cross-country mass start.
This success brought her a third gold medal in Sochi, adding to her 15 kilometre and and team sprint medals. This is now Bjoergen’s 6th gold and 10th medal of the Winter Games overall.
And her fellow countrymen made it a clean sweep for Norway as they romped home with a comfortable second and third.
Germany and Austria dominated the medals in the Ladies’ Parallel Slalom. But it was Austria’s Julia Dujmovits who emerged on top in a scrappy battle for first place. She bested Germany’s Anke Karstens by 0.12 seconds, leaving Amelie Kober with bronze.
It was a different story in the men’s, where Vic Wild – a former American – won comfortably to bring home his second gold for Russia. Over half of the host nation’s 11 gold medals have now been won by naturalised athletes. Ex-Korean Ahn Hyun-soo, now a Russian short-track speed skater going by the name Viktor Ahn, added to the tally with three gold medals and one bronze.
Tatiana Volosozhar, who represented the Ukraine in figure skating until 2010, won gold in the pair and team events in Sochi. And fellow ex-countryman Vladimir Grigoriev, a 1,000 metre short track individualist, who competed in the Salt Lake City and Turn Olympics for Ukraine, also helped to fill the cabinet by winning a silver for Russia this time.
But it is not one-way traffic. Former Russian halfpipe snowboarder Yuri Podladchikov now competes under the Swiss flag. And Anastasia Kuzmina, who represented Russia in the biathlon, recently took home the gold for Slovakia in the ladies’ sprint.
Ukraine’s Olympic Committee said cross country skier Maryna Lisogor has failed a doping test. The body issued an official statement about the presence of trimetazidin, a substance banned from 1st January 2014.
Lisogor had earlier boycotted a cross country team sprint alongside team mate Kateryna Serdyuk, as a protest against the IOC ban on black ribbons to honour those killed in the Ukraine.
IOC spokesman Mark Adams spoke about the positive doping tests: “That’s a disappointment, a personal disappointment, obviously for everyone involved in that. It’s a disappointment for us but I think it shows our determination that cheats don’t prosper”.