Olga Fatkulina won silver for Russia in the women’s 500-meterspeed skating event. Source: Vladimir Baranov / RIA Novosti
Viktoria Kolesnichenko, special to RBTH
Day 5 of the Olympic program kicked off with the second round of matchesinthe women’s curling competition. The day before, the Russian team had defeated the Danes. On Tuesday it beat the United States with a score of 9:6.
“We are still not very happy with the precision of our strikes,” said Russian vice-captain Margarita Fomina. “But today our game was good enough for victory, so the goal for this match has been accomplished. The tournament has only just begun, and we will do our best to keep improving our game."
In the afternoon, however, the Russian women’s curling team was defeated 5:7 by the Chinese. This is their first loss; there are another six games to be played before the quarterfinals.
The Russian men’s curling team, meanwhile, has not made a very good start. It lost to Norway 8:9 in the first match, even though the Russians reduced their rival’s lead from four stones to just one late in the game.
Day 5 also saw freestyle ski slopestyle make its Olympic debut at the Sochi Games. After two unsuccessful runs during women's qualification, Russia’s Anna Mirtova came at the bottom of the second twenty and crashed out of the finals.
Canada’s Dara Howell and Kim Lamarre showed the best qualification performance. Howell ended up winning gold, while silver went to a U.S. athlete, and another Canadian took bronze.
Meanwhile, the Laura Biathlon &Ski Complex hosted the ski cross-country sprint competition. Norway’s Ola Vigen Hattestad took gold in the men’s event; Sweden’s Teodor Peterson came second, and another Swede, Emil Jonsson, was third. Russia’s Sergei Ustyugov was among the medal contenders, but finished only fifth after failing to avoid a collision with a Swedish rival who had taken a tumble on a particularly tricky stretch.
The Russian women’s team was not represented in the ski cross-country sprint finals. The gold medal went to Norway’s Maiken Caspersen Falla, silver to her compatriot Ingvild Flugstad Ostberg, and bronze to Slovenia's Vesna Fabjan.
Darya Domracheva of Belarus won gold in the biathlon pursuit race. Norway's Tora Berger took silver, and Slovenia’s Teja Gregorin bronze. Russia's Olga Vilukhina started second but finished only seventh. Another Russian, Olga Zaitseva, was 11th, even though she did not miss a single shot.
Olga Fatkulina won silver for Russia in the women’s 500-meterspeed skating event, coming only 0.15 seconds behind Korea’s Lee Sang Hwa. This is the second Sochi medal for the Russian speed skating team. Holland's Margot Boer rounded out the podium with a bronze medal.
The Russian women’s hockey team beat Japan 2:1, earning themselves a place in the quarterfinals. Their next rivals are Sweden, which has beaten every opponent it has faced so far, and then Finland.
The Russian figure skaters delivered an excellent performance on Day 5 of the Olympics. The Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov pair not only won a stunning victory in the short program but set a new world record with a score of 84.17.
Second place went to Germany’s Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy. Russia’s Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov finished third. As a result, the Russian figure skating team once again proved to be the undisputed leader and met its fans’ lofty expectations. “I am very glad that our team is so strong that it can take not one but two places on the podium in the short program," Tatiana Volosozhar said.