Sports, Jankovic wins Indian Wells, Kramer World Champion speed skating

22 03 2010

Not Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova or Justine Henin won the crown at the big tournament in Indian Wells the last fortnight, but surprisingly it was Jelena Jankovic. She beat Caroline Wozniacki in the finale with 6-4 6-2. It was the first big win of Jankovic in ages and I am happy for her, always liked her. Sharapova is injured and Clijsters and Henin desperately need more match rhythm, that combined with the absence of the Williams’ sisters makes this not so likely to be repeated by Jankovic in Miami this week.

At the last tournament on the speed skating calendar in a sold out stadium in Heerenveen, the Netherlands(the only place to get a full stadium in a tournament after the Olympics) Sven Kramer became World Champion Allround. This is a two-day tournament over 4 distances. Jonathan Kuck from the U.S was the big surprise at number 2, number 3 was Havard Bokko. With the ladies Martina Sablikova from the Czech Republic was the best, before Canada’s Kristina Groves and dutch Ireen Wust was number 3.

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Olympics unfortunately over

1 03 2010

It were overall mediocre games with extreme sad lows like the death of the Georgian Luger, the death of Joanne Rochette’s mom and the at times very bad circumstances(trouble with the ice at the speed skating, conditions on the ski slopes) and highs with dutch golden medals, extremely tight/nerve-wracking races and Canada winning a record amount of golden medals. The overall medal count and deciding who the winner is, proves to be difficult. What is more important, the amount of medals overall or the most gold??. My bf and I decided to be fair, the gold was 5 points, silver 3 and bronze 1. That makes Canada the winner, before the U.S and Germany in third.  Norway is a strong number 4 and then there is a big gap. Holland is in 10th, pretty good. My personal highlight were the gold of Mark Tuitert, Ireen Wust and the great performances of the German biathlon girls. Biggest disappointment the disqualification of Sven Kramer at the 10k and the miscommunications at the team relay that cost a sure gold.





Olympics last 2 days, Gold and Bronze for Holland, Raney anti-hero team U.S

28 02 2010

Friday Nicolien Sauerbreij won the first medal ever for the Netherlands at a snow event and it was Gold. She won the ladies snowboarding!! She has been good for 8 years but never made it to the top when it mattered most, except friday. And boy did she rip up the competition. That coming from a country without snowboard slopes is amazing. Well done!!

Friday and saturday the speed skating was all about the relays and exciting it sure was. I wish I would have been the coach for the U.S and dutch teams though, than the medals would have been different. The dutch men started according to plan but at the semi-finals the team of the U.S beat the dutch team very unexpectedly. Hedrick, Hansen and Kuck were ok, but the dutch team had a total miscommunication that cost them around 4!! seconds and the normally easy win. Kramer, Tuitert and Blokhuijsen took revenge with an olympic record and by far the quickest time the day after to win bronze, but it should have been gold. That is the thing that makes the team relay so exciting though, lots of surprises. U.S, in my opinion, made a mistake in the final by not letting Marsicano skate, who has more speed than longer distance skater Huck, but they did anyway and lost to a great Canadian team.

The ladies of the Netherlands had bad luck in the draw by having to skate against the German girl in the first round. If the draw on thursday would have gone different and the would have had the place of Japan, then the final should have been reached fairly comfortably. That did not happen though and Holland lost against Germany. They should have changed Groenewold ,who has been in terrible shape the whole year, for Voorhuis though and they still would have beaten Germany. The next day they did just that and with Ireen Wust and Diane Valkenburg they were 1.5 seconds faster than the German team and also almost 1.5 seconds faster than the day before. Grrrr. The U.S beat Canada very surprisingly in the quarter finals, biggest upset of the day. In the semis the U.S with Rodriguez, Swider Peltz Jr and Jileanne Rookard almost beat Germany with Beckert, Friesinger -Postma and Anschutz Thoms. Friesinger is a middle distance skater and could not keep up 100% with the end shot of stayers Beckert and Anschutz and she almost fell once and then when nearing the finish she did fall and swam across the finish to just beat the U.S and reach the finals. Germany barely beat Japan with Kodaira, Tabata and Hozumi(who all 3 did great) in the final and the U.S lost a sure bronze against Poland(with a very mediocre team) due to Catherine Raney Norman who replaced Swider Peltz Jr. that race. Last week she was annoyed by having to skate the 1500m and preferred to watch the ice hockey of the U.S instead and now she could not keep up with the other 2 U.S girls and single-handedly lost the medal for team USA. What a loser she is.





Olympics, wednesday and thursday

26 02 2010

Wednesday was not such a good day for the speed skating but it was known that the 5k would be the weakest distance fo the dutch ladies. Jorien Voorhuis ended in 10th place and Elma de Vries was number 11. The winner was the best woman for years on this distance, Martina Sablikova. Germany’s Stephanie Beckert was 2 but the difference between 1/2 was very small. Maybe next year it will be Beckert at number 1. She has made huge progress in the last 2 years. Canada’s Clara Hughes won the bronze at her 5th Olympics(summer as a bicyclist included) Today will be the start of the men’s and women’s pursuit. The dutch men are clear favorites with probably Korea and Norway as the numbers 2 and 3. U.S has a small chance for a medal. The dutch ladies had a horrible draw and have to face Germany first and title favorite Canada next if they beat Germany. I think Canada will win, Russia will be 2 and Germany or the Netherlands will end with the bronze.

With the skiing there has been a lot of talk between the catfight of American’s Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso. Mancuso had complained about Vonn getting almost all media attention and then Vonn fell at the Giant Slalom which resulted in Mancuso having to ski again, after already having completed half of the track and she lost a sure medal in that race. Still I am team Vonn, she seems nicer.

Johnny weir had the perfect comeback after people asked him what he though about the reporters that said boys will not be allowed to figure skate because parents are afraid they will turn into Johnny. He thinks kids should only be so lucky as to turn into him. I totally agree with him. He is a two-time Olympian, World Championships medal winner, U.S champion and has his own reality show on the Sundance Channel. Nothing wrong with that.





Olympics day 11, drama for Sven Kramer

24 02 2010

How unlucky was that. You are around 3 seconds faster than the number 2 at the time and seem to be easily cruising to a win and then your coach makes a mistake, thinks you are in the wrong lane and tells you to go and take the inner lane instead of the outer and you do just that because you only have a split-second to think. Just so sad and the Netherlands with 6.7 million people watching(around 2/5th of the population at 11 at night was mourning this. One of the darkest days in dutch sport. Feel not only sorry for Kramer but also his coach Kemkers. People saying he deserved this because he was rude to an american reporter after a win at the 5K are just ignorant. I think that if a dutch reporter would have asked Peyton Manning, minutes after winning the Super Bowl, if he would say his name and the sport he plays in the camera, I bet he would not have done that either. Korea’s Lee was handed the gold, silver for Skobrev and bronze for dutch De Jong.

At the biathlon it was time for the team relay and the German ladies were already handicapped before the event started. Two-time Gold medal winner at these Olympics, Magdalena Neuner, did not start because she was too tired after all her races. Germany won bronze anyway, behind Russia and France.





American Olympian Catherine Raney should be ashamed of herself

22 02 2010

Many skaters would kill for participating at an olympic distance, but not Catherine Raney from the U.S. She only knew a day before the event started that she was on the list for the 1500m speed skating and was surprised. She did not plan but would do her best she said. A day later she skated but not with only positive energy. She had tickets for the hockey match between Canada and the U.S. and was bummed for missing that.

What kind of spirit is that, she should be removed from the U.S team imo.





Olympics day 9,openly lesbian Ireen Wust wins 1500m, another gold for Holland, biathlon

22 02 2010

After the beginning of this week for the speed skater at the Olympics were a little disappointing, since thursday everything changed majorly. 2 Gold, silver and bronze. Wust is a former olympic winner, world and european champion and came out last year. Her form the last 2 season was not always great but she brought it when it mattered most. I was hoping for a medal for her but did not expect gold. The favorite for me was Kristina Groves from Canada and she took home the silver. Martina Sablikova had a phenomenal last round and won the bronze. Wust’s race was perfection, fast opening and also a great last round. Margot Boer from the Netherlands was the number 4 and is pretty unlucky with a 4th, 6th, and 4th place. Both Canadian and Dutch TV pointed out her girlfriend and showed them hugging, NBC of course did not.

At the biathlon it was a great day for the German Girls at the Mass Start, my favorite race. Magdalena Neuner won her second gold medal and Simone Hauswald Denkinger won the bronze. In between them was Russia’s Olga Zaitseva.