SOCHI, February 20, /ITAR-TASS/. - Six Olympic medal sets will be in contest in Sochi on Thursday, February 20. Russian athletes might hope for victories in figure skating, and freestyle skiing results can be quite unexpected.
Predicting the winner in freestyle skiing men's ski cross is very difficult, suffice it to recall that champions in this event were six athletes from different countries, and there were 13 athletes on the medals stand in all. Frenchman Jean Frederic Chapuis is world champion in this event. Swiss freestyle skier Michael Schmid won gold at the Olympic Games in Vancouver. Among the favorites are Canadian David Duncan, Swede Victor Oehling Norberg and Austrian Andreas Matt.
Men's ski cross seeding begins at 11:45, Moscow time and 1/8 finals are scheduled for 13:00, Moscow time. Russians Yegor Korotkov and Sergei Mozhayev will compete in this event.
The Olympic Games are gradually drawing to a close as finals have commenced in team events. On Thursday, Sweden will play Canada for gold in women's curling at 17:30, Moscow time. Sweden's women curling team is champion of the Olympic Games in 2006 and 2010. In Vancouver, it defeated Canada. At 12:30, Moscow time, Great Britain's and Switzerland's women's curling teams will compete for bronze.
Canada vs USA finals will crown women's hockey tournament. There was little doubt even before the Sochi Olympic Games that the two strongest teams would reach the finals. Canada prevailed at the three previous Olympics, and the USA won gold in Nagano in 1998.
In the preliminary round in Sochi, Canada defeated the USA 3:2. The gold medal game will begin at 21:00. At 16:00, Switzerland will play Sweden for bronze medal.
Nordic combined starts at 12:00 with ski jumps from a big springboard, to be followed by a 4 x 5 kilometer relay. The Austrian team which won the last two Olympic Games in this evening, is facing serious competition from German and Norwegian athletes who showed impressive results in individual Nordic combined in Sochi. France was world champion in Nordic combined in 2013.
Yevgeny Klimov, Niyaz Nabeyev, Ivan Panin and Ernest Yakhin will compete for Russia. In Sochi, Klimov was 45th with scoring series in normal hill ski jump and Panin was 43rd in big hill ski jump.
Ladies Free Skating begins at 19:00, Moscow time, the most welcome Thursday event for Russian spectators. Regrettably, team contest Olympic champion Yulia Lipnitskaya is unlikely to compete for gold, standing fifth after losing nine points to leader Yuna Kim from South Korea. But Russia's Adelina Sotnikova now stands second losing a mere 0.28 points to the South Korean.
Thursday will end in Ladies Ski Halfpipe. Competition for gold is expected between Maddie Bowman , Brita Sigourney and Angeli VanLaanen of the USA and Canadian Rosalind Greenwood.
Russia is represented in this event by Natalia Makagonova and Yelizaveta Chesnokova. Ladies' Ski Halfpipe Qualification is due to begin at 18:30, Moscow time, and finals are due at 21:30, Moscow time.