Olympics, day 15: Melting Iceberg with gold

As the Games wind down, Team Russia climbs up the medal table

This is Ahn's (L) fifth Olympic gold medal, and his second for Russia. In previous Olympics, he skated for his native South Korea. Source: Grigoriy Sisoev / RIA Novosti

Emma Terchenko, for RBTH

Friday brought Russia two gold medals in short track. The hero of the day at the Iceberg Skating Palace was Victor Ahn. Ukrainian biathletes too gave some fans at home cause to celebrate as the country suffers through a difficult political crisis.

Short Track

Ahn's victory in the men's 500m race brought Russia its eighth gold medal at the Games. China's Dajing Wu came in second and Canada's Charle Cournoyer took the bronze. The winning time was 41.312 seconds. Ahn’s victory was far from certain at the outset; he started slightly behind and briefly fell to the back of the pack. This is Ahn's fifth Olympic gold medal, and his second for Russia. In previous Olympics, he skated for his native South Korea.

Two other Russian speed skaters, Semyon Elistratov and Vladimir Grigorev, finished the race in the 15th and 16th positions respectively.

That was not the end of Russia's short track triumphs on the night. The relay team of Ahn, Elistratov, Grigorev, and Ruslan Zakharov also won gold in the men's 5000m relay. Their winning time – 6:42.100 – set a new Olympic record.

Biathlon

The Russian women's biathlon team finally had some good luck on Friday. Olga Vilukhina, Olga Zaitseva, Yana Romanova and Ekaterina Shumilova won a silver medal in the women's 4x6km relay race. With four penalties, the Russian team lost to the leaders by 26.4 seconds.

The Ukrainian team of Vita Semerenko, Juliya Dzhyma, Valj Semerenko, and Olena Pidhrushna won first place, earning the country its first-ever Olympic gold medal in biathlon.

The bronze went to the Norwegian team.

"We did everything right. I have no regrets. We did everything we could and at present this is the best of all the possible outcomes. This silver is more precious than gold," Ekaterina Shumilova told the newspaper Sovetsky Sport.

Freestyle skiing

In the ladies' ski cross finals, Russia's Yulia Livinskaya came in 11th place. The gold and silver medals went to Canada's Marielle Thompson and Kelsey Serwa. Sweden's Anna Holmlund took the bronze.

Alpine skiing

In women's slalom, Russia's Ksenia Alopina came in 23rd, 7.20 seconds behind the leader, Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States. Two Austrian athletes, Marlies Schild and Kathrin Zettel, won the silver and bronze respectively.

By the end of day 14, the Russian national team climbed to second place in the overall medal count, after Norway. It has nine gold, 10 silver and seven bronze medals.

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