You all know it, weekends are overloaded with sports events, and they are also overloaded with women's sports. Where I normally select a Girl Power Lady of the Day to be included in the title, and who will feature as the main story, it is much harder to accomplish the same format in the weekends. Today was a day on which many ladies did amazing and outstanding jobs. So guys get your testosterone ready for this summary of the day full of super women!
Crans-Montana is a small village and ski resort in Switzerland. It is located between Adelboden and Sion, some of the more well known cities in the area. It was the location for the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup in the downhill discipline. Besides ski resorts, cheese and for being neutral most of the times, we all know the Swiss are also famous for timekeeping. The funny fact of the day will be that exactly that timekeeping aspect is what went wrong in Crans-Montana today. For a still unknown technical issue the times of several skiers were not recorded correctly. Early in the race Olympic champion on the downhill Sofia Goggia set a fast time of 1:29.77 minutes. The only one who could come relatively close to that time was current World Cup leader Nicole Schmidhofer, who followed at a 0.52 second distance. No one else the two top times of the day, or at least, it seemed like that, until it became clear that there was an issue with the timekeeping. Suddenly Schmidhofer's time was no longer good for the second place, but only for the fourth. Two skiers who initially finished outside of the top three, were suddenly in it. Joana Hählen now clocked second, in 1:30.13, whereas the bronze medal was reserved for Lara Gut-Behrami (Valon Behrami's wife) with 1:30.22, pushing Schmidhofer to fourth. Schmidhofer is still the leader in the overall downhill ranking, and is most likely going to win it.
We all know Scorum is originated in Belarus, and Minsk is the capital of Belarus. Today there was an important race in Minsk, the sprint race at the European Biathlon Championships. The sprint race for women is held over 7.5 km in which the athletes ski three laps of 2.5 km, and every time they enter back in the stadium, they will have to shoot on five targets with a rifle, once standing and once laying down. Missing a shot will either result in reloading your rifle for another shot, in a time penalty, or in an additional couple of hundred meters in a penalty lap. Which of these options is valid depends on the setup of the race, this can change and depends on the choice of the organizers.
Mona Brorsson of Sweden needed 19 minutes and 34 seconds to cover the distance, and managed to keep her body under control during the shooting sessions. All ten shots she fired were hits, which is a very strong factor towards a great result. It turned indeed out to be the winning time and for winning the gold medal. Ekaterina Yurlova-Percht of Russia did really well too, but missed one shot on the targets, which resulted in a penalty lap and finishing 37.5 seconds behind Brorsson. Hanna Öberg, also from Sweden won the bronze medal.
Therese Johaug has been one of the top cross-country skiers for a long time. She has won a lot of races already this winter, but also won loads of medals in the past. Prior to today she had won eleven medals at the world championships, of which seven were gold medals, whereas four of those were won on individual disciplines. She has been suspended for doping usage for a bit, but the reasoning behind it was a bit controversial, nothing for me to judge about. Today Johaug added an eighth gold medal at the world championships by winning the Skiathlon event. This is an event in which the skiers change skis halfway during the race. The first part is done in freestyle, the second part in the classic style. Johaug ruled the event and was almost a minute faster than the second placed Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, also from Norway. The Russian biathlete Natalia Nepryaeva grabbed the bronze medal.
The Sprint World Championships in speed skating are being held in Heerenveen in the Netherlands. In this tournament all skaters perform on two distances, the 500 meters and the 1000 meters. Each of them has to skate both distances twice over a period of two days. The times will be converted in points and the one with the least points will be called the world champion. Today were the first two distances. The 500 meters race was won by Nao Kodaira from Japan in 37.27 seconds. That was 0.04 faster than Austrian skater Vanessa Herzog and the third place was for Russian skater Angelina Golikova. The fourth place on this distance was for Miho Takagi, also from Japan. She is a specialist at the 1000 meters and finishing fourth on the 500 meters increases her chances of becoming the world champion.
Takagi's 1000 meters was good, but it wasn't extraordinary good. Her time of 1.14.82 minutes was enough for the first place in the rankings for most of the race. Vanessa Herzog, second at the 500 meters only finished 8th on the 1000 meters and fell behind in the overall rankings. Nao Kodaira aimed to beat Takagi's time, but failed. Still her time was good enough for the second time of the distance and the lead overall. One more skater could challenge Takagi, which was America's Brittany Bowe. Bowe skated fast and furious and it looked like she was going to beat the time of the Japanese skater indeed. Once the finish approached Bowe became tired, which seemed like she was losing time. However whenever she crossed the finish the time was 1:14.60, giving her the distance win. In the overall ranking Kodaira keeps the lead, Takagi is now second and Bowe follows the two Japanese.