SOCHI, February 21. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian athletes can compete for medals in biathlon and short track at the Winter Olympics in the southern Russian city of Sochi on Friday. Russia pins high hopes on short tracker Victor Ahn, who can win two medals for one evening; female biathletes will also have the final chance to show a good result.
Women’s 4x6km biathlon relay race is the last chance for Russian biathletes to remind of themselves at the Sochi Olympics. Still Russian women’s biathlon team has only silver medal won by Olga Vilukhina from the Siberian city of Novosibirsk in sprint race, the first biathlon discipline at the Winter Olympics. Yana Romanova from the Siberian city of Omsk, Olga Zaitseva from Moscow, Yekaterina Shumilova from the Siberian city of Khanty-Mansiysk (the coaching staff of Russian women’s biathlon team headed by Wolfgang Pichler preferred to include her in the relay race instead of Yekaterina Glazyrina) and Olga Vilukhina will ski in the relay race.
Russian female biathletes had won the relay race at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. Meanwhile, only Olga Zaitseva, 35, stayed in the team since then.
The Friday evening will be rich for events in short track, where three sets of medals will be contested. Quarterfinals will start at 20:30 Moscow time (16:30 GMT) in 500m short track race. Victor Ahn from Moscow, Vladimir Grigoryev from Moscow regional town of Klin and Semyon Yelistratov from Moscow will skate in the quarterfinals. Charles Hamelin of Canada has dropped from the medal race in the 500m race heats back on Tuesday. Hamelin is the Olympic champion in Vancouver in this race and won the gold medal in 1,500m race in Sochi.
Finals in this short track race will be held at 21:43 Moscow time (17:43 GMT), and men’s 5,000m relay race will start already at 22:18 Moscow time (18:43 GMT), where Russian team is the main aspirant for victory. Russia’s rivals Canada and South Korea, who won gold and silver medals in this relay race at the Vancouver Olympics, respectively, were defeated in the semifinals and failed to advance in the finals.
Speed skaters will have play-offs in men’s and ladies’ team pursuit races at the Sochi Olympics on Friday. Quarterfinals and semifinals will be held in men’s team pursuit race, female speed skaters will have only semifinals, as finals are slated on Saturday. Alexander Rumyantsev from the northern Russian city of Arkhangelsk, native of Siberia’s Khabarovsk Ivan Skobrev (Moscow), Alexey Yesin from the Moscow regional town of Kolomna, Denis Yuskov from Moscow will start in men’s speed skating team. Olga Graf and Yekaterina Lobysheva (both from Kolomna), Yekaterina Shikhova from St. Petersburg, Yulia Skokova from the Ural city of Yekaterinburg will compete in ladies’ team pursuit race.