SOCHI, February 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian athletes hope to gain medals in biathlon and speed skating on Tuesday. Men’s hockey team will play a qualification game ahead of quarterfinal.
Having gained advantage over Slovakia only in a number of bullets, the Russian team doomed itself to an additional qualification game with Norway that performed worst of all 12 participants at group stage losing three games with a total score of 2-13. The game is scheduled for 16:30 Moscow Standard Time (12:30 GMT); and the winner will play versus the Finish team in the quarterfinal. Women’s hockey teams will vie for 5th and 7th, Russia-Finland game is due at 12:30 GMT.
Men’s 15 km mass-start due on Sunday was delayed until 14:30 (10:30 GMT), Tuesday, because of thick fog. Russian Yevgeny Ustyugov from Krasnoyarsk won the event four years ago in Vancouver yet this time it is the twofold Sochi Olympic champion Martin Fourcade from France and sprint leader Ole Einar Bjoerndalen from Norway that are likely to take their Olympic medals.
Four Russians qualified for mass-start: Yevgeny Garanichev from Tyumen (8), Anton Shipulin from Yekaterinburg (13), Yevgeny Ustyugov (14), and Dmitry Malyshko from Leningrad Region (15). No other national team will be represented in mass-start with more than three biathletes.
Three short-track events are scheduled for Tuesday, but only women’s 3000 meters relay will yield medals. After the semifinal relay the Russian team will perform in the B final to compete for 5th or 7th places with Japan and Hungary.
Men’s speed skating 10000 meters marathon is scheduled to start at 17:00 (13:00 GMT). Dutch athletes’ leadership in this discipline in Sochi is no more surprising, nor is the fact that the medals here are claimed by three Dutch athletes: Sven Kramer, Jorrit Bergsma and Bob de Jong. Russia will be represented by just one athlete, Yevgeny Seryaev. Silver winner of the Vancouver Games, Khabarovsk-born Ivan Skobrev, decided to abstain this time.