Winter Olympics: Saturday in Beijing – Ryoyu looks for more ski jumping gold

By Sports Desk February 11, 2022 891

Saturday sees us pass the halfway point of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, with six medals on the line in China's capital.

More drama awaits in the snowboarding as the first mixed team snowboard cross takes place at the Olympics, while Japan's Kobayashi Ryoyu looks to cement his place as the world's premier ski jumper.

One of the more intriguing non-medal events of the day will see the United States and Canada face off in the men's ice hockey, the first time that the two nations have met since Canada beat their rivals 1-0 in the semi-finals at Sochi 2014.

Here, Stats Perform previews each of the day's medal events. 

Biathlon

Norway's Johannes Thingnes Boe already has two medals from these Games, but is aiming to arguably win his most important one on Saturday in the men's 10km sprint, the only one that eluded him at Pyeongchang 2018.

He will likely face fierce competition from France's Quentin Fillon Maillet, who won gold in the individual biathlon on Tuesday, while Sweden's Sebastian Samuelsson could also be one to keep an eye on.

Samuelsson currently leads the World Cup standings and finished ahead of both Boe and Fillon Maillet in consecutive sprint events in Ostersund earlier in the season.

Cross-country skiing

The women's 4x5km relay takes place on Saturday, with Norway hoping to successfully defend their title from Pyeongchang.

Norway has won two of the last three golds in this race, with Sweden taking the win at Sochi 2014.

Skeleton

Women's skeleton is celebrating its 20th year on the Olympic programme, and Germany's Tina Hermann will be hoping to replicate the success of compatriot Christopher Grotheer, who won the men's gold on Friday.

Hermann won the test event at this track in October, and sits in third place on a time of two minutes, 4.57 seconds after the first two heats on Friday. 

Australia's Jaclyn Narracott is in first place heading into the final two heats on two minutes, ahead of another German, Hannah Neise.

Ski jumping

The men's large hill event qualifying saw Norway's Marius Lindvik and Halvor Egner Granerud take first and second respectively, and both will be fancied in Saturday's final.

Granerud was the 2020-21 overall World Cup winner, but he and his compatriot will have to look out for Japan's Kobayashi Ryoyu, arguably the favourite for gold. The 25-year-old won the recent Four Hills Tournament as well as the normal hill event in Beijing.

According to the Beijing 2022 website, the large hill at the National Ski Jumping Centre has a height of 446 feet, "with the landing funnelling straight into a large stadium which can be used for football matches in the summer."

Snowboard

History will be made as the first mixed team snowboard cross medals will be handed out at the Olympic Games.

Pairs made up of one male and one female competitor will face off in quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final on Saturday, with current world champions Australia among the favourites along with the United States. 

There will be 15 teams competing from 10 nations, with Australia, Canada, France, Italy and the United States having two teams.

Speed skating

Haavard Lorentzen will look to defend his title from 2018 but faces strong competition in the men's 500m. The 29-year-old set an Olympic record in Pyeongchang and became the first Norwegian to win gold in the event since 1948.

Canada's Laurent Dubreuil recorded the fastest time in the 500m last year and is currently at the top of the World Cup standings, while South Korea's Cha Min-kyu will aim to make amends for missing out four years ago when Lorentzen beat him by 0.01 of a second in the final.

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Last modified on Friday, 11 February 2022 15:41
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