Hoefl-Riesch seeks to profit from Vonn's absence
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[February 12, 2014]
By Keith Weir
SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) — German skier
Maria Hoefl-Riesch goes for her second gold of the Sochi Olympics in the
women's downhill on Wednesday, her chances boosted by the absence of
injured American champion Lindsey Vonn.
The downhill race on the Rosa Khutor piste in the mountains above
Sochi is the first of six medals to be won on Wednesday.
Hosts Russia will have high hopes of ending the day with another
gold in figure skating, courtesy of world and European champions
Maxim Trankov and Tatiana Volosozhar.
The Russians have already won the team event in the Iceberg Skating
Palace, much to the delight of watching President Vladimir Putin.
Mild weather risks causing problems in the mountains after rising
temperatures forced the cancellation of final practice for the
Julia Mancuso, who took bronze behind Hoefl-Riesch in the super
combined on Monday, will carry American hopes after a knee injury
robbed Vonn of the chance to defend her title.
"Mushy" snow could also play a part in deciding the Nordic combined
where German World Cup leader Eric Frenzel takes on 2010 Olympic
champion Jason Lamy-Chappuis of France.
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In the indoor Adler Arena, American speedskater Shani Davis will be
bidding for his third straight gold in the 1,000 meters and aiming
to put a dent in the Dutch domination on the ice.
Australian Torah Bright defends her snowboarding half pipe title
against rivals who include America's Kelly Clark, the 2002 winner
who is appearing at her fourth Games.
In the luge doubles, Austrian brothers Andreas and Wolfgang Linger
seek their third successive Winter Games gold but must defy German
world champions Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt.
And the puck drops for the start of action in the eagerly
anticipated men's ice hockey tournament. Czech Republic play Sweden
and Latvia meet Switzerland in the opening group games.
(Writing by Keith Weir)
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