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Dublin: 15 °C Wednesday 16 April, 2014

Winter Olympic Village: Day Three

The fire’s lit, come in and take stock of the big events in Sochi today.

Pic of the day

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Australia’s Sam Hall jumps during the men’s moguls.  Andy Wong/AP/Press Association Images

Talking points

  • Hoefl-Riesch defends Super Combined crown: Downhill skier Maria Hoefl-Riesch won her third Olympic gold medal, her second in the Super Combined event with a stunning run to defeat Austria’s Nicole Hesp by 0.4 seconds while USA’s Julia Mancuso was ecstatic with her bronze.
  • Canada dominate Moguls: It was a Canadian one- two on the always impressive, freestyle Moguls course. Alex Bilodeau pipped Mikael Kingsburg to gold with home favourite Alexandr Smyshlyaev claiming bronze.
  • Netherlands are still the speed kings: In a blur of orange lycra, the Netherlands secured a clean sweep of the 500m speed skating medals. However, the Dutch-dominated competition proved agonisingly close (as we’ll explain).
  • Hamelin hammers home in 1500m: The longer sprint distance doesn’t suit the Netherlands so much. Canada’s Charles Hamelin won his third gold medal after winning over 500m and 5000m in his home Games. Silver went to China’s Tianyu Han while Russia had to be content with another bronze, this one for Victor An.
  • First French gold: Martin Fourcade took gold in the Men’s pursuit Biathlon event. His compatriot Jean Guilliaume Beatrix took bronze to make up the other half of the French medal count after three days in Russia. Czech Ondrej Moravec separated the French contingent to take silver.

You said what?

Apparently there’s a perception out there that curlers spend more time at a bar than under one in a gym. Denmark’s Rasmus Stjerne hates it when people say that.

“I would like to see if those (critics) could handle a month of what I do in the summer. I am getting up early in the morning, working out six days a week before work or school. That is really hard work.”

Touchy?

Hero of the day

The Netherlands’ Michel Mulder won the 500m speed skating gold ahead of his compatriot Johannes Smeekens, but only after both men had thought the reverse was true.

Mulder put up an aggregate time of 69.31 seconds after two runs, but after Smeekens crossed the line with a total time of 69.31 the scoreboard registered him in first place (by one or two hundredths of a second).

It was only when the finish was officially reviewed that Mulder realised the gold was his… and he went suitably berserk.

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Mulder’s twin brother Ronald took bronze.

Unfortunate eejit of the day

Johnny Quinn: Not content with getting stuck in his hotel room a few days ago, the US bobsledder today found himself stuck in a lift. This time the door survived, though we assume it still got a kicking.

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Moment that took our breath away

Major ouch for Finland’s Ville Miettunen in the Moguls.

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Fortunately, he was fit enough to get down the rest of the slope on his own steam.

Medal table

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Tomorrow’s highlights?

Ireland’s Seamus O’Connor is back on his snowboard for the half-pipe qualification rounds at 2pm and the finals of that competition are sure to be a spectacle at 9.30pm.

We’ll also be treated to a whole lot more Curling from 9am, but if it’s just medals you’re after then there will be 10km pursuit in the women’s Biathlon after a full schedule of heats and finals in the Cross-Country skiing Sprint Free from 2pm.

The women’s Slopestyle ski final will take place at 1pm, if you’re after some lunchtime awesomeness.

A snowboarder crashed so hard her helmet broke on Sochi’s ‘sketchy’ slopestyle course

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