February 16, 2010

2010 Olympics Day 4

Svein Tuft of the Day for Day 4: JP Le Guellec

It was a bit tricky to find an unnoticed noteworthy performance today, but in the end I had to give it to Jean Philippe Le Guellec for the second time.

I didn't see any of it, but it sounds like Le Guellec had a very weird day. He officially finished eleventh — a very respectable finish on its face. But in fact, Le Guellec was fifth to cross the finish line. As I discussed on Sunday, Le Guellec was supposed to be the sixth athlete to leave the start line in today's 12.5 km pursuit. Instead, due to a starter's mistake, he left fifth, about 30 seconds before he was supposed to. He crossed the finish line in fifth place, but after a post-race adjustment to correct for the error, he ended up eleventh.

"The guys just let me out too soon. Why, I don’t know," said LeGuellec, 24, of Quebec City. "I was just like, well, if worse comes to worse I’ll be disqualified or there’ll be a time adjustment. Whatever, do your race, have fun and that’s what happened."

After 2.5 kilometres and five-out-of-five shooting, LeGuellec appeared to be in second place. But his coaches were scrambling to make sure he knew he really wasn’t, that 30 seconds had to be added to his score. At the end of the race, with a decent 18-for-20 shooting, LeGuellec seemed solid for fifth, with no one in his sights behind him. He slowed down at the end to acknowledge the boisterous crowd.

But when he crossed the finish line and organizers added the 30 seconds to his time, he dropped to 11th.

"I am upset," said LeGuellec. "I came in fifth and I’m 11th. There’s nothing much we can do, it’s done."

LeGuellec forgave the official who let him go early. "You can’t blame the guy. With the hype of the Olympics and everything, there’s things that can happen," said LeGuellec.

Jean Philippe gets extra credit for handling the offical's error with such equanimity.

Medal Prediction

Nothing much happened to my medal prediction today. Maëlle Ricker's gold medal gave my prediction a boost of 0.35, but Dominique Maltais' fall took it away. My prediction still stands at 26.25 medals (the update table is at the end of this post).

Since there's nothing that interesting to report about my prediction today, I thought I might look at progress so far in a different (and more optimistic) way. As I noted in my original prediction, there were three major media organizations that also made medal predictions on an event-by-event basis. How are they doing so far at predicting Canada's results?

The Associated Press predicted 30 medals for Canada. They were wrong about Charles Hamelin in the short track 1500 m, wrong about Manuel Osborne-Paradis in the alpine downhill, and wrong about Dominique Maltais in women's snowboardcross. They also missed Kristina Groves in the long track 3000 m, and Mike Robertson in the men's snowboardcross. So the AP predicted that Canada would have six medals by now, an overestimate of one.

Sports Illustrated also predicted 30 medals, and was also wrong about Osborne-Paradis. They also missed Mike Robertson, and Alexandre Bilodeau. So SI predicted that Canada would have four medals so far, an underestimate of one.

The Canadian Press predicted the astonishingly high total of 37 medals for Canada. They were wrong about Hamelin, Osborne-Paradis, and Maltais. They missed Mike Robertson, too. The CP predicted that Canada would have seven medals so far, an overestimate of two.

Sport Event Athlete Category Result Impact
Initial Prediction         27.05
Day 1         -0.75
Day 2         +0.45
Day 3         -0.50
Snowboard Snowboardcross - W Ricker, Maëlle Strong GOLD +0.35
Snowboard Snowboardcross - W Maltais, Dominique Possibility 20th -0.35
Day 4         +0.00
Current         26.25

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