SOCHI, February 13, 0:50 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian national teams on Thursday in Sochi will compete for medals in speed skating, biathlon, cross country and luge. The main hope is for a silver medallist of the Games in Sochi skater Olga Fatkulina, who comes from Chelyabinsk. Biathletes will compete in men’s individual, in short track ladies will run 10 kilometres Classic in cross-country, and a luge team relay competition is due on Thursday as well.
The Russian national hockey team will have its first game at 16:30 with Slovenia. Slovenia’s team is the competition’s outsider, and its very competition at the Games was a sensation, where it was ahead of Denmark and Belarus. At recent world championships Slovenia’s team has been drifting between the elite and second divisions, and in the May world competition in Belarus Slovenia will not take part.
After a day break, biathlon and cross country competitions resume. Ladies at 14:00 will begin competing in Classic, 10 kilometres, where another duel between two prominent athletes - Norway’s Marit Bjoergen and Poland’s Justina Kovalchik is most expected. The Russian team will be repr3esented by Natalia Zhukova /Kazan/, Yulia Ivanova /Komi republic/, Olga Kuzyukova /Altai/ and Yulia Chekaleva /Vologda/. In this programme at the world competitions in 2013 Yulia Chekaleva won the bronze medal in Italy.
In biathlon, men will have individual competitions (20 kilometres), which will begin at 20:00. Medals may go to France’s Martin Fourcade and Norway’s Ole Einar Bjoerndalen. Russia’s athletes will be Yevgeny Garanichev, Yevgeny Ustugov and Alexander Loginov and Alexei Volkov.
Ladies’ 500m quarterfinals in short track are due at 14:00. Only one Russian athlete - Sofia Prosvirnova from St. Petersburg has managed to qualify for quarterfinal here.
At 18:00 Ladies’s speed skating for 1,000 metres will begin. Here all Russian fans will support Olga Fatkulina from Chelyabinsk, who is a silver winner of the 500m race. Her competitors are the US’ skaters Heather Richardson and Brittany Bwey.
The latest medal event on Thursday will be a team relay competition in luge (beginning at 20:15). Here the Russian team has good chances for medals. The team includes Tatiana Ivanova /Perm territory/ and Albert Demchenko /Moscow region/, as well as Alexander Denisyev and Vladislav Antonov /Krasnoyarsk/.