Bilodeau, Hamelin win gold on up-and-down day on the Canadian Trail
Bumpy times in biathlon and super combined
The Canadian Trail hit a serious fork in the road on Monday, with one branch leading to a pot of gold and the other straight off Calamity Curve.
What a day for the nation on the moguls hill, where Alex Bilodeau, of Rosemere, Que., became the first athlete to repeat as a gold medallist in freestyle skiing.
Right behind him was Mikaël Kingsbury, of Deux-Montagnes, Que., with the silver medal in his first Olympics, while Marc-Antoine Gagnon, of Terrebonne, Que., was a close fourth. Philippe Marquis, of Quebec City, was 9th in the round of 12 and did not advance.
That’s two gold and two silver for the Canadians in men’s and women’s moguls after Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe’s 1-2 on Saturday.
Much earlier on Monday, the short track speed skaters took the ice for the first time and Canadian star Charles Hamelin, of Sainte-Julie, Que., climbed to the top of podium in men’s 1,500-metres. His brother Francois was 9th while Michael Gilday, of Yellowknife, was dropped to 17th after being disqualified in the semi.
Falling off the other fork was Jean-Philippe Le Guellec, of Shannon, Que., who was in medal contention halfway through the men’s 12.5 km biathlon pursuit when he fell trying to round the tricky downhill 180-degree right-hand bend (nicknamed Calamity Curve by CBC broadcaster Karin Larsen) and lost too much time getting back in.
Le Guellec, in his third Olympics and with a sixth at Vancouver in the 10 km behind him, was absolutely going for it and, but for the spill, might well have found it.
Meanwhile, Nathan Smith of Calgary put in a solid day, finishing 11th overall. Brendan Green, of Hay River, N.W.T., finished 35th.
Out on the slopes of the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center, Marie-Michele Gagnon, of Lac-Etchemin, Que., was 21st in the downhill portion of the women’s super combined (not her strength), and well-placed for the slalom section (her best).
It all ended with a fall, a separated shoulder and a Did Not Finish. She may be fine for the giant slalom and slalom at the end of the Games.
Elsewhere along the Trail:
• Curling opened with a bit of a surprise as the men’s team of Brad Jacobs, Ryan Fry, E.J. and Ryan Harnden, all of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., beat Germany 11-8 in Draw One, but were upset 5-4 by the Swiss in Draw Two.
• Skip Jennifer Jones and her rink of Kaitlyn Lawes, Jill Officer and Dawn McEwen put together an impressive 9-2 victory over China in their only match of the day.
• The Women’s hockey team went to the third period against Finland still in a scoreless tie before finally finding the net thanks to Meghan Agosto-Marciano, of Ruthven, Ont., Jayna Hefford, from Kingston, and Rebecca Johnston, of Sudbury. Canada is now 2-0.
• A strong day for the women lugers saw Alex Gough, a world championship medallist, put together an excellent second run after a bumpy first run, placing fifth overall headed for day two of the competition. Kimberley McRae was right behind here in sixth and Arianne Jones was 15th. All three are from Calgary.
• Long track speed skating found Gilmore Junio, in his first Olympics, finish 10th in the 500 metres. Junio, from Calgary, is a former short tracker who switched after breaking his neck in two places while falling into the boards as a junior. Jamie Gregg, of Edmonton, was 11th, while William Dutton, Humboldt, Sask., took 14th and Muncef Ouardi, of Quebec City, was 25th.
• Wrapping up the short track, all three Canadian women advanced to the Feb. 13 quarter-finals in the 500 metre heats: Marianne St-Gelais, of St-Felicien, Que., Jessica Hewitt, of Kamloops, B.C., and Valerie Maltais, of La Baie, Que.
• Those three women plus Marie-Eve Drolet, of Chicoutimi, Que., combined to put the women’s 3,000 metre relay team into the Feb. 18 final.