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Archive for March, 2010

Mao Asada Wins World Championship

March 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Japan’s Mao Asada had the 2nd best free skate, but it was good enough to win the Gold at the ladies figure skating championship. Defending olympic champion Kim yu-Na, who had been 7th after the short program, skated the best free skate to win the silver.

It was a disappointing finish for American Mirai Nagasu, who crumbled under the pressure of leading after the free skate and ended up finishing 7th. Rachael Flatt finished 9th. Because of their finishes, the US will only have 2 spots at next year’s World Championships.

For the full results, you can head over to Required Elements

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Mirai Nagasu Leads After Short Program

March 26, 2010 Leave a comment

In a surprise, Olympic champion Kim Yu Na finds herself in 7th after the ladies short program at the World Figure Skating Championships after having problems with a triple jump as well as problems with her spirals.

Just as surprisingly, it is American Mirai Nagasu who has taken advantage to take the lead after the short program. Her score of 70.40 points is five points better than her personal best, and gives her a precarious 2 point lead over Mao Asada of Japan.

Fellow American Rachael Flatt sits in 6th after a score of 60.88 points.

Nagasu finished 4th at the Olympics, and I tabbed her as the early favorite for Sochi in 2014. She’s already making that a possibility.

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Kramer Sets Record

March 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Dutch speedskater Sven Kramer made history the other day, becoming the first speed skater ever to win four consecutive world titles in the 10,000 meters.

He clocked in with a time of 12 minutes, 57.97 seconds. Two other speed skaters, Rintje Ritsma and Ivar Ballangrud won four titles, but Kramer is the only one to do it in four successive years.

Kramer finished ahead of the United States’s Johnathan Kuck and Norway’s Havard Bokko.

On the women’s side, Martina Sablikova won the 5,000 to defend her title with a time of 6 min, 50.98 seconds. She finished ahead of Kristina Groves of Canada and Ireen Wust of the Netherlands.

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McKeever Wins Paralympic Gold

March 15, 2010 Leave a comment

He was disappointingly left off the final race for Canada’s Olympic team, but Brian McKeever has a Paralympic gold in the 20km cross country race after silvers in the last two Paralympic games. Despite fighting off a cold, McKeever’s time of 51 minutes, 14.79 seconds was nearly 45 seconds ahead of the second place finisher.

McKeever has Stargaard’s disease, which is a genetic disease that has reduced his eyesight to about 10% of normal. All of his vision is peripheral. His brother acts as his guide during races.

McKeever still hasn’t given up his dream, and will attempt to compete in both the Paralympics and Olympics in 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

Pete Fenson Wins US Curling Title

March 13, 2010 2 comments

The Bronze medalist in Torino 2006, Pete Fenson just won the 2010 United States mens curling title. With the title he and his rink have the honor of representing the United States at the 2010 World Championships to be held later this year in Cortina, Italy.

Fenson’s rink finished in a 4 way tie for first after the round robin with a 6-3 record. In the finals just played today, they defeated Mike Farbelow’s rink to win the title 8-4 in 9 ends.

Joining Fenson on the team is his lead Tyler George (Duluth, MN), 2nd Joe Polo (Bemidji, MN), and 3rd Shawn Rojeski (Chisolm, MN).

Be sure to stop back as I’ll have continuing coverage from the Curling World Championships in Italy.

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Lindsey Vonn Wins Third Straight Overall World Cup Title

March 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Imagine being a football player and playing in the Super Bowl, then just the next week having to go play a regular season game vs. the Texans. That’s sort of like what Vonn had to do, as she returned to the World Cup circuit after winning a pair of Olympic medals.

Vonn showed no rust either. Yesterday she won the final Super G race of the season, in Germany. It was her 33rd victory of the season, and with it she passed Bode Miller as the all time winningest skiier in United States alpine history.

With her win, Vonn became the first woman since 1990-92 to win three straight titles. Vonn also won the overall titles in the downhill, Super G and combined events. While she only won bronze in the Super G, she won 4 of the 7 races that took place on the circuit this season.

Vonn now has a few months off to rest her shin, knee and finger. After enjoying one of the most trying seasons of her career, and one of the most successful in American history, she deserves it.

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Grading My Medal Predictions: Cross Country

Men

1.4 k Classical

Predicted:

Gold – Emil Jonsson, Sweden

Silver – Nikita Kriukov, Russia

Bronze – Ola Vigen Hattestad, Norway

Actual:

Gold – Kruikov

Silver – Alexander Panzhinsky, Russia

Bronze – Peter Nortthug, Norway

Joensson didn’t even make the finals, finishing 7th, and Hattestad finished 4th.

Team Sprint – Freestyle

Predicted:

Gold – Norway

Silver – Sweden

Bronze – Russia

Actual:

Gold – Norway

Silver – Germany

Bronze – Russia

Sweden finished out of the top 10. The United States ended up finishing 9th.

15k Freestyle

Predicted:

Gold – Peter Northug Jr., Norway

Silver – Marcus Hellner, Sweden

Bronze – Dario Cologna, Switzerland

Actual:

Gold – Cologna

Silver  – Pietro Piller Cotterer, Italy

Bronze – Lukas Bauer, Czech Republic

Northug finished a disappointing 41st, and Hellner finished 4th. The best American finished 58th.

50k mass start classical

Predicted:

Gold – Lukas Bauer, Czech Republic

Silver – Alexander Legov, Russia

Bronze – Georgio di Centa, Italy

Actual:

Gold – Petter Northug, Norway

Silver – Axel Tiechmann, Germany

Bronze – Johan Olsson, Sweden

Whoops on this one. Bauer finished 12th, Legov 14th and de Centa 11th. The best American finished 28th.

4 x 10k Relay

Predicted:

Gold – Norway

Silver – Germany

Bronze – Russia

Actual:

Gold – Sweden

Silver – Norway

Bronze – Czech Republic

Germany finished 6th and Russia 8th. The US finished 13th.

Women

1.2 k sprint (classical)

predicted:

Gold – Justina Kowalczyk, Poland

Silver – Petra Majdic, Slovenia

Bronze – Hanna Falk, Sweden

Actual:

Gold – Marit Bjoergen, Norway

Silver – Kowalczyk

Bronze – Madjic

Hannah Falk finished a disappointing 29th. Madjic recovered from falling into a ravine and breaking ribs to win a bronze.

Team Sprint

Predicted:

Gold – Sweden

Silver – Italy

Bronze – Slovenia

Actual:

Gold – Germany

Silver – Sweden

Bronze – Russia

Italy finished 4th and Slovenia, without Madjic, didn’t enter a team.

10k freestyle

Predicted:

Gold – Marit Bjoergen, Norway

Silver – Charlotte Kalla, Sweden

Bronze – Irina Khazova, Russia

Actual:

Gold – Kalla

Silver – Kristina Smigun-Vaehi, Estonia

Bronze – Bjoergen

Khazova finished 20th. The best American finished 30th.

15k pursuit

Predicted:

Gold – Petra Majdic, Slovenia

Silver – Justina Kowalczyk, Poland

Bronze – Alno-Kaisa Saarinen, Finland

Actual:

Gold – Marit Bjoergen, Norway

Silver – Anna Haag, Sweden

Bronze – Kowalczyk

Madjic didn’t start due to her rib issue, and Saarinen ended up 5th.

30k Mass Start

Predicted:

Gold – Marit Bjoergen, Norway

Silver – Justina Kowalczyk, Poland

Bronze – Anna Haag, Sweden

Actual:

Gold – Kowalczyk

Silver – Bjoergen

Bronze – Alno-Kalsa Saarinen, Finland

Haag ended up not entering the race. American Holly Brooks finished 36th.

4×5 K relay

Predicted:

Gold – Norway

Silver – Sweden

Bronze – Finland

Actual:

Gold – Norway

Silver – Germany

Bronze – Finland

Sweden finished 5th. Not a bad way to end it, eh?