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Fog plays havoc with Games, US eye ice dance gold

Sochi (AFP): Thick fog shrouding the mountains at the Sochi Games played havoc with Olympic schedules today as Meryl Davis and Charlie White targeted the first ever ice dance gold for the United States.

Warm temperatures at the Games have failed to disrupt the sporting action but thick cloud cover in the mountains at Rosa Khutor meant the men’s biathlon 15km mass start and men’s snowboard cross could not go ahead as planned.

The biathlon event, originally slated for Sunday, has been pushed back again until 2:30 pm (1030 GMT) on Tuesday, meaning Norwegian star Ole Einar Bjoerndalen will have to wait longer for his bid for a record 13th Winter Olympics medal.

The men’s snowboard cross competition has been rescheduled for 10:30 am on Tuesday with a shortened format.

German competitor Konstantin Schad said the snowboard cross course was unrideable.
“We were inspecting the course today in the morning, but I couldn’t see more than 10 metres ahead. We were not allowed to test the course, so we were just sliding along it. As it didn’t freeze last night, it would just wear out the course more,” he said.
“I guess the maximum speed we reach is 80km/h (50 miles per hour). There is no way to compete in fog — it’s much too dangerous.”

International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said despite concerns in recent days about the balmy weather, it was fog that had caused the most disruption.
“I believe the temperatures are dropping in the last day or so…. We are not complacent, but winter sport is very unpredictable,” he added.

One competition that is not threatened by the weather is the ice dance event at the Iceberg Skating Palace on the Black Sea coast.

US pair Davis and White, who set a new world record score of 78.89 points in the short dance on Sunday with a performance to “My Fair Lady”, are firm favourites to add gold to their two world titles.

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