US pair eye dance gold, Stoch targets golden sweep
By Dave James ,AFP
February 18, 2014, 12:19 am TWN
SOCHI, Russia -- Meryl Davis and Charlie White can add the Olympic figure skating ice dance gold to their two world titles in Sochi on Monday while Polish ski jumper Kamil Stoch targets a rare golden sweep.
American pair Davis and White set a new world record score in the short dance on Sunday with a performance to "My Fair Lady" to lead reigning Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada by 2.56 points.
Davis and White, the Olympic silver medalists in Vancouver in 2010, scored a record 78.89 points with the Canadians achieving 76.33 for their skate to "Dream a Little Dream," "Muskrat Ramble" and "Heaven."
It is the latest round in an ongoing rivalry on the ice going back to junior days between the two couples, who train together in Detroit.
"Excellent is a word to describe it. I felt like I was in a dream. Everything is coming together," said Davis.
White said: "We were just in our zone, so we could go out and skate like that. It felt awesome. When we were going out, we said, 'Let's do it for each other.'"
Stoch Eyes Golden Ski Jump Sweep
In the mountains above Sochi, the ski jumping tournament comes to end on Monday with the team competition.
Poland's Kamil Stoch, who won the normal and large hill individual events, will attempt to become just the second jumper in history to complete the golden sweep of all three competitions.
The only man to achieve the hat-trick was Finland's Matti Nykanen at Calgary in 1988.
Poland's hopes are likely to be threatened by Austria.
The alpine nation, boasting stars such as Thomas Morgenstern, Gregor Schlierenzauer and Thomas Diethart go into the event having won team gold at the last two Olympics and at every world championship since 2005.
Morgenstern, who suffered serious skull injuries in a fall just four weeks ago, could become the first ski jumper to win three golds in the team event.
At World Cup level however, Austria have struggled in the past two years.
At the start of the season, they even finished a shocking fifth in Klingenthal — their worst result since 2004 — before coming back to third last month in Zakopane, Poland.
In biathlon, Norway's Ole Einar Bjoerndalen will try again to win a record 13th medal after the mass start race was postponed Sunday due to heavy fog.
France's Martin Fourcade will seek his third gold at Sochi in the event.
In women's biathlon, Darya Domracheva of Belarus is also chasing a third gold of the Games in the women's mass start.
Russia's Alexander Zubkov and Alexey Voevoda lead the two-man bobsleigh ahead of the last two runs after Jamaica endured a tough opening night on Sunday, finishing the session in 30th and last place, 4.41 seconds behind the leaders.
In snowboard cross, Australian world champion Alex Pullin is favorite for the title in an event that features regular spills.
In freestyle, the men's aerials could well be a contest between Belarus and China, with 2010 Olympic champion Alexei Grishin taking part in his fifth Olympics.
Teammate Anton Kushnir is also tipped to be among the medals as are Chinese trio Liu Zhongqing, Qi Guangpu and Jia Zongyang.
Women's ice hockey has reached the semi-final stage, with the United States playing Sweden and Canada taking on Switzerland.