#1 ." It was a dog days game for both teams -- at least it felt that way when counting up all the little mistakes. Washingtons Anthony Rendon made a baserunning gaffe on a ground ball and was thrown out at third, and Bry von lebaobei123 26.03.2019 03:35

SOCHI, Russia -- Canada was a second-half team at the 2010 Winter Olympics. The medal intake in Sochi is forecasted to happen at a more measured pace. Starting with Saturdays mens snowboard slopestyle and womens moguls, Canada has at least one legitimate medal shot, if not more, virtually every day until the closing ceremonies Feb. 23. Chef de mission Steve Podborski and his assistants Jean-Luc Brassard and France St. Louis intend to be present at events where a Canadian is a front-runner for a medal. "I would say were booked every day," Podborski said at a Canadian Olympic Committee news conference Thursday. The host country won 18 of its 26 medals in Vancouver during the back half of the Games. Ten of the 14 gold medals came in the second half, including four on the final weekend. Sports making their Olympic debut helped balance the schedule of Canadas medal prospects in Sochi. Mens and womens snowboard slopestyle, the figure skating team event and the luge relay are among the new events over the first eight days of competition in which Canada has solid medal prospects. Thats in addition to Canadas strength in the entrenched sports of alpine skiing, moguls, short-track speedskating and cross-country skiing. "Sure there are new sports and we happen to be very, very good in the new ones because we are a great sporting nation," Podborski said. "With the support were getting now from corporate Canada, Own The Podium and the Government of Canada, we have an opportunity to be good in the traditional sports as well and thats where well make our great gains in the areas where are athletes are getting better . . . cross-country, alpine skiing." Canadas athletes have been waging fierce foosball tournaments in their village lounge while they await Fridays opening ceremonies, according to Podborski. But Olympic competition started early for some Canadians with Thursdays preliminary rounds. Canada sat in second place, two points behind host Russia, after the first day of the new team figure skating event. Torontos Patrick Chan was third in the mens short program, then Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., were second in the pairs short to give Canada 17 of a possible 20 points after the first two events. Sebastien Toutant of LAssomption, Que., and Max Parrot of Bromont, Que., advanced to the mens snowboard slopestyle final Saturday, while Charles Reid of Mont-Tremblant, Que., and Reginas Mark McMorris will attempt to join them via the semifinal earlier in the day. The Dufour-Lapointe sisters from Montreal -- Justine, Chloe and Maxime -- all qualified for Saturdays womens moguls finals as did Audrey Robichaud of Quebec City. Reigning world champion Spencer OBrien of Courtney, B.C., qualified for the womens slopestyle final Sunday. Hockey Canada also made the decision to replace injured forward Steven Stamkos with Tampa Bay teammate Martin St. Louis. No competition is scheduled Friday because of the opening ceremonies. In addition to slopestyle and womens moguls on opening weekend, skiers Erik Guay of Mont-Tremblant, Que., Calgarys Jan Hudec and Manny Osborne-Paradis of Invermere, B.C., are medal prospects in Sundays downhill. Canadas figure skaters are favoured to win a medal in the team event, which ends Sunday. Canadas objective in 2010 was to top the overall medal count and the target remains the same in Sochi. The host team was third in total medals, but won the gold-medal race four years ago. Because of the new sports, there are 36 more medals to be won in 2014 than in 2010. That will help fill Canadas coffers, but also those of top rivals Germany, Norway, the United States and host Russia. "Canada is here to compete and win," COC president Marcel Aubut said. "Our aim is to contend for the number one spot in medals won." "This is an ambitious goal, but we Canadians like it this way. Our athletes expect nothing less of themselves but the highest achievements." Added Podborski: "You dont try to come "somewhere up there." We expect great things in Canada now. Its an ideal approach. "We may not win the medal count this time. We may not win it the next time but one day we will because we are striving to be number one in the world in the medal count." While Canadas preparation for 2010 seems a successful model to copy for Sochi, the Canadian Olympic Committee took a different approach. The 2008 Summer Games in Beijing posed similar challenges to Sochi in terms of distance to travel, time-zone difference and unfamiliar language, food and culture. Virtually all of Canadas Olympians competed, trained or at least visited Beijing in the year prior to those Games to get comfortable with the place. The same practice was done for Sochi. There was less emphasis on pre-Games visits for the 2012 Summer Games in London. "If we look at the Beijing experience and we look at the Sochi experience, its actually very similar," COC chief sport officer Caroline Assalian says. "New and unfamiliar environment for most countries. "We ensured that the athletes and support teams as much as possible are familiar with this environment." The COC has conducted exit interviews with athletes, their coaches and support teams following Olympic Games since 2006 to better plan for the next. The athletes were asked "what made the difference in your performance?" "Their number one factor? Feeling part of a larger unified team, more than anything," Assalian said. "Thats what made the difference for them. Coaches and support team? Familiarity with the Olympic environment." And where Beijing was also a benchmark for Sochi was in Canadas conversion rate, which the number of athletes ranked in the top five at their most recent world championships make it onto the podium at the subsequent Olympic Games. The COC employs conversion rates to compare how Canadas athletes are performing compared to other countries. Even though Canada won just 18 medals in Beijing, the conversion rate there was 67 per cent compared to 59 per cent at the Winter Games of both 2010 and 2006, according to Assalian. The Canadian team needs at least match Beijings conversion rate to be in the hunt for the overall title in Sochi. "Our bar now is Beijing," Assalian says. "We know we need to convert better than we ever have at any Winter Olympic Games." The Canadian team will attempt this without the advantage it had in Vancouver and Whistler of home ice and home snow. Own The Podium chief executive officer Anne Merklinger says many winter sport teams have stronger leadership and better coaches since 2010. Both areas were priorities coming out of Vancouver and Whistler and she hopes improvements there compensate for the additional challenges of Sochi. "Weve come a long way in that regard," she says. "Without coaches, were behind the 8-ball. Its the most important success factor. "I think there are a number of examples where weve brought in great coaches, but weve lost some too. We need to find a way to continue to retain the good ones we have and attract new ones." "Were investing in that. Thats what it takes. Its a competitive industry." OTP oversees athletes competitive lives between Olympic Games and allocates about $62 million a year in federal government funding between summer and winter sports. The COC prepares athletes for the Games environment and looks after their needs and wants on the ground in Sochi. Cheap Vans Canada Shoes . JOHNS, N. Clearance Vans Canada . -- Kansas City Royals right-hander Luke Hochevar will have Tommy John surgery that will sideline the pitcher for the season. http://www.discountvanscanada.com/. Expensive. The NFL fined Tomlin $100,000 on Wednesday for interfering with Baltimores Jacoby Jones on a kickoff return in the third quarter of a 22-20 loss to the Ravens on Thanksgiving night. Discount Vans Canada . Over the course of his career Glenn is 79-71-1 in 151 starts for a .526 career winning percentage. Since becoming a Stampeder, he has elevated his play and raised his stock around the league. Vans Shoes Canada Online . Its Wu-Tang and Outkast in the final. Now, we all know youve played the role of Andre 3000 in the past, does that mean Outkast is getting your vote?AJ: You know it, you know it.WASHINGTON -- Giancarlo Stanton rattled Nationals Park like few, if any, who have been here before, nailing a fastball that might still be rolling among the citys tourist attractions had it not clanged loudly off the facade of the middle deck in foul territory. The stadium gasped. Reliever Drew Storen, already with men on first and second with none out in the seventh inning of a tie game, was on the ropes. Then Storen threw Stanton a slider. Swing and a miss. Strike three. Momentum shifted. Two popouts later, the inning was over with no damage done, and the Washington Nationals scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the inning to take a 4-3 win over the Miami Marlins. "He hit that ball off the Capitol," Storen said. "So its one of those things that he was obviously looking for a heater there, so you just kind of go up and throw a good pitch to him, and it worked out all right." The Nationals need such resolve from Storen -- and the rest of the roster for that matter -- if theyre to become relevant again in the playoff race. Theyve won seven of eight as they hit a soft portion of the schedule, but they remain seven games behind Cincinnati, which beat St. Louis 10-0, for the NLs second wild-card berth. Storen (4-2) has been mostly solid since his early season struggles that sent him back to the minors. He picked up the win as the fourth of six Nationals pitchers on a night when starter Stephen Strasburg was done after two innings because of a 72-minute rain delay. Tyler Clippard worked the eighth, and Rafael Soriano the ninth for his 35th save. Strasburg had promising stuff -- he got his six outs on 22 pitches with no hits allowed -- but the silver lining is that the brief outing might allow him to pitch Sunday on short rest. Ian Desmond had three hits, including the go-ahead RBI single in the seventh inning, for the Nationals. He also scored a run and stole a base and has six hits in the first two games of the series. "Things are on my side right now," Desmond said. "I havent hit too many balls on the barrel, but Im fortunate enough to get hits. Im in a good spot mentally right now, and a majority of the game is just mental." The Natioonals broke a 3-3 tie in the seventh off Mike Dunn (3-4).dddddddddddd. Denard Span walked to lead off the inning, then advanced to second when Dunn bounced a pickoff attempt for a throwing error. Werth was intentionally walked with two outs, and Desmond scored Span with a single to left. The Marlins have lost seven of eight, a skid that manager Mike Redmond tried to halt by switching around his lineup. He batted rookie Christian Yelich third for the first time, moving Stanton and Logan Morrison down one notch each to fourth and fifth. It was the first time Stanton had batted cleanup this season. Stanton hit a solo homer in the sixth -- the inning before his big at-bat against Storen -- Yelich drew a pair of walks, and Morrision had a single, but the Marlins couldnt string together their hits. They went 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position, leaving Redmond uncertain as to whether to stick with the lineup for another day. "I liked the fact that it looked like we kind of swung the bats a little better as far as the hits," Redmond said. "I dont know. Ill have to sleep on it. Well see what I can come up with tomorrow." It was a dog days game for both teams -- at least it felt that way when counting up all the little mistakes. Washingtons Anthony Rendon made a baserunning gaffe on a ground ball and was thrown out at third, and Bryce Harper bobbled a base hit for an error that allowed the batter to get to second. Miamis Morrison got caught in a rundown between third and home, Dunn had his throwing error, and the Marlins couldnt do anything after getting two on with none out against Storen. "You get in those situations. It usually comes down to a great defensive play or a big hit," Redmond said. "And weve been on the other end of both most of the year." Notes: How inept are the Marlins at the plate? Theyve drawn 31 walks in their last nine games -- and none of those 31 runners have scored. ... Washington is 5-0 vs. Miami at home this season. ... Harper had an RBI double in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, his first double-digit hitting streak in the majors. Span pushed his hitting streak to 11 games. ' ' '

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