Day 10 preview: Nesbitt and Groves lead way for Canada

On a busy day 10 at the Vancouver Olympic Games, speed skaters lead the way on what could shape up to be a good day for Canada.

At the Richmond Olympic Oval, the ladies’ 1,500 metre race has the potential to become Canada’s first multiple medal event of the Games, as both Kristina Groves and Christine Nesbitt could finish on the podium.

Groves currently sits first in the 1,500 metre World Cup standings while Nesbitt is just behind her in second. Both women already have a medal at these Olympics, Groves winning the bronze in the 3,000 metres and Nesbitt taking the gold in the 1,000.

Medals also will be handed out in the two-man bobsleigh on Sunday, with runs three and four being held at the Whistler Sliding Centre.

The Canadian sled of Pierre Lueders and Jesse Lumsden is still in medal contention, heading into the day in sixth position, while Lascelles Brown and Lyndon Rush sit 21st, after crashing during their second run on Saturday.

In what will probably be the most-watched event of the day, Canada’s men’s hockey team will play their foes to the south, the United States, in their final round robin game. After just squeaking by Switzerland with a 3-2 win in a shoot-out, Canada needs to beat the U.S. to finish first in their division and receive a bye to the quarterfinals.

Two other men’s hockey games will take place on Sunday, with the Czech Republic playing Russia and Sweden facing Finland.

Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir head into the original dance portion of the ice dance competition in second place after a strong compulsory skate on Friday. A great skate will be needed to set them up for a podium finish when the event wraps up on Monday.

Their biggest competition could come from Russian pair Maxim Shabalin and Oksana Domnina, first after the compulsory, as well as third-place Charlie White and Meryl Davis of the U.S.

Sunday will also mark the debut of the ski cross, the newest sport added to the Olympic Games. All rounds of the event, from qualifications to the final, will be held on Sunday.

Davey Barr, Stanley Hayer, and Christopher Delbosco are Canada’s ski cross entries.

Curling continues Sunday at the Vancouver Olympic Centre, with both Canadian teams in action.

Cheryl Bernard’s rink sits 4-0 after defeating Norway in extra ends on Friday. They had the day off on Saturday and will play twice on Sunday, facing the United States in the morning and the Chinese in the evening.

Kevin Martin and his team will take on Markus Eggler and his rink from Switzerland.

In alpine skiing, the men’s super combined event, rescheduled from Feb. 16, will take over the hills in Whistler.

So far, Canada’s alpine team has had a disappointing Olympics with no podium finishes. That will likely continue with the super combined as Canada’s entrants of Ryan Semple, Michael Janyk, Tyler Nella, and Louis-Pierre Helie are not considered to be medal threats.

Biathlon events also continue on Sunday, with the women taking part in the 12.5 kilometre mass start race.

On the men’s side, Jean-Philippe LeGuellec will look to continue his Olympic success in the 15 kilometre mass start race. LeGuellec has enjoyed some of Canada’s best finishes by a male biathlete, finishing sixth in the 10 kilometre sprint, 11th in the 12.5 kilometre pursuit, and 13th in the 20 kilometre individual event.

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Posted: Feb 21 2010 1:07 am
Filed under: Winter Games